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* Plus Washington, D.C.

North Carolina Money Hero Roy Fralin teaches money skills to middle-schoolers.
Audra Melton

Throughout the U.S., people are making extraordinary efforts to improve the personal finances of others. Meet some of those unsung Money heroes on this cross-country goodwill tour.

What does it take to be a Money hero?

Here's what it takes: hard work, a little financial savvy, and a lot of desire to help others. Money started giving a shout-out to folks who fit that bill in 2012, and this year we're on a mission of our own: proving heroes are everywhere, doing creative and extraordinary work.

We sought out a hero from each state and the District of Columbia, taking nominations from past honorees, leaders of nonprofit groups, community-service coordinators at for-profit firms, and you, our readers.

The result is a remarkable lineup of people doing good works all across the United States. So see who we've spotlighted in each region of the country, watch videos about some little-known heroes, and read some of the good advice that our honorees have for you.

And if you'd like to nominate someone you know for future coverage, drop us a line at heroes@moneymail.com.

By Daniel Bortz, Joan Caplin, Ryan Derousseau, Srividya Kalyanaraman, Antonia Massa, and Donna Rosato