Vet carries on his legacy of kindness and empathy after receiving a $100,000 cash prize and stuns everyone with his wholesome gesture.
In this world, where everyone's main priority is looking after themselves, it takes a special kind of courage to prioritize others. CNN honors this bravery with their Hero of the Year award. The organization brings to light 10 stories of empathy by individuals to help their community. Amongst them, voting is done in which a winner is selected. The winner is then bestowed with a grant to exemplify their work further. This year, the honor went to Dr. Kwane Stewart. He is popularly known as The Street Vet and his organization provides aid to pets on the streets and in homeless encampments. After receiving the honor, akin to his legacy of kindness, he made a wholesome gesture towards all the nominees which won hearts all over the world.
Dr. Kwane Stewart runs a non-profit called "Project Street Vet." The organization, just last year, gave free medical care to 600 animals. The vet started his noble pursuit in 1997. Soon, his actions garnered attention and he landed a TV show titled "Dr. Kwane: The Street Vet." This provided him with collaborations with product firms, volunteers and philanthropists. In 2020 he joined hands with Ian, his brother, and started providing supplies to homeless people so that they could take care of their pets.
Dr. Kwane Stewart received $100,000 to expand his organization and also $300,000 in unrestricted funding and resources from The Elevate Prize Foundation. The 10 honorees were all offered critical non-profit training and support for their causes from the foundation. The camaraderie between all the honorees was evident when Stewart's name was announced. As he made his way to the mic, he was bombarded with hugs from all his fellow nominees. The vet started the speech by expressing his gratitude. “I’ve wanted to be a veterinarian my whole life since I was a child,” Stewart said when accepting the award. “I’m so lucky to be doing what I’m doing.”
The doctor shared that it would have been impossible for him to succeed without the help of his people. "I've so many people to be grateful for. There are so many people that have helped get me here- my parents who instilled good values, my brother who helped me start the charity, our volunteers, and veterinarians....it's been a wonderful journey," he added. The vet went on to say that the whole reason that individuals are put on earth, is to be humans. In order to be humans, it is important to help and stand by each other. He pointed to his fellow nominees and stated that all of them embody this generous spirit of humanity.
Therefore, Stewart decided to share his $100,000 prize money with all of his fellow honorees. "It splits evenly 10 ways, pretty nicely. So, it is my contribution to all of us. I want to say, I am honored to know you and to be a part of this fraternity," he stated. All his life he wanted to inspire people to "share and give" and wanted to continue the practice at this stage, as well. He ended with a story of kindness. The vet encountered once a homeless man who had not eaten in two days. Despite being hungry himself, the man only took one piece of the sandwich and gave the rest to his dog. His message with this story is, "An act of kindness can change your day, change someone's day."