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What does it take to be a Money hero? Hard work, a little financial savvy, and a lot of desire to help others. We started giving a shout-out to folks who fit that bill in 2012, and this month Money is on a mission of its 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: more heroism than can possibly fit in the pages that follow. So whenever you're in need of a little inspiration, check out to learn more about these and other heroes. To nominate one, drop us a line at