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CNN Heroes: Sharing the Spotlight

  • How have celebrities been inspired by CNN Heroes?
  • We asked stars to share with us the causes they're most passionate about
  • Many of this year's celebrities have been involved with CNN Heroes for several years

(CNN) -- Many celebrities have taken part in the CNN Heroes campaign and attended the annual "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute" shows. Here, we reach out to some of them and learn about the ways they've chosen to get involved and give back.

Ricki Lake
Actress and filmmaker Ricki Lake has a special connection to CNN Heroes. Her friend and onetime nanny, Marie Da Silva, was chosen as a Top 10 CNN Hero in 2008 for her work starting a school for AIDS orphans in her native Malawi.
Lake's story Video | Q&A

Mira Sorvino
Academy Award-winning actress Mira Sorvino is dedicated to ending human trafficking. She serves as a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, and she frequently travels abroad to raise awareness about the issue.
Sorvino's story Video | Q&A

Dikembe Mutombo
Former NBA star Dikembe Mutombo is reaching out to his war-torn homeland. Through the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation, the gentle giant is helping provide health care and education for those who live in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Mutombo's story Video | Q&A

Debi Mazar
Actress Debi Mazar is passionate about food, and she recently used her cooking skills to raise money for The Midnight Mission, a Los Angeles-based organization that helps the homeless.
Mazar's story Video | Q&A

Eva Mendes
Actress Eva Mendes volunteers regularly with The Art of Elysium, an organization that enables actors, artists and musicians to share their talents with children who are battling serious medical conditions.
Mendes' story Video | Q&A

Bon Jovi on his Soul Foundation

Apolo Anton Ohno
Apolo Anton Ohno has won eight Olympic medals -- two of them gold -- in short track speed skating, but he is also well known for helping people away from the rink. Ohno is the spokesman for, a nonprofit organization that not only lets people donate directly to someone in need, but also e-mails them to show exactly how their gift is making a difference.
Ohno's story Video | Q&A

Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez came of age in the spotlight, and now the young actress and singer advocates for children as UNICEF's youngest goodwill ambassador. Gomez, 18, has also been involved with CNN Heroes since 2008, when she served as a presenter at "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute."
Gomez's story Video | Q&A

Hill Harper
Hill Harper, star of the CBS series "CSI: NY," founded the Manifest Your Destiny Foundation to empower young people through mentoring, scholarship and grant programs. Harper also served on the Blue Ribbon Panel that selected this year's Top 10 CNN Heroes.
Harper's story Video | Q&A

Ricky Martin
Grammy Award-winning artist Ricky Martin has long been passionate about helping others, serving as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador and working with Habitat for Humanity. But his main charitable focus is the Ricky Martin Foundation, which he founded to advocate for children around the world.

Evan Lysacek
Evan Lysacek became a household name in February when he won the Olympic gold medal in men's figure skating. Since his rise to fame, he has made it a point to get involved with charitable work. He currently works with Help USA, a nonprofit organization that provides housing and support services so the homeless and other people in need can become self-sufficient.
Lysacek's story Video | Q&A