Despite her busy schedule, Carrie Underwood always makes the time to give back to others. She is known for her many charitable efforts, particularly for founding the Checotah Animal, Town, and School Foundation (C.A.T.S.) in her hometown of Checotah, Oklahoma.
Through C.A.T.S., Underwood has helped fund a new animal shelter in the town and her high school's music program. She also volunteers at her hometown animal shelter whenever she gets the chance, and is passionate about educating people on spaying and neutering their pets.
In addition to her work through C.A.T.S., Underwood has served along with the American Red Cross, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Operation Homefront, among others. She also volunteered to serve as the headliner for the ACM Party for a Cause Festival on April 1, 2016.
Due to all of her charitable work, this year the ACMs named Underwood as the first recipient of the ACM Lifting Lives Gary Haber Award, which is named after the late chairmen of the organization. Rolling Stone says the award is meant to recognize a country artist or professional in the industry who is actively involved in helping others.
Although Underwood has accepted many awards over the years, being named as the recipient of the Lifting Lives Award was extra special to her, since she shared a close relationship with Haber. As she went to give her acceptance speech, Underwood started to tear up before she completely broke down:
"I was one of the lucky ones that was fortunate enough to know Gary Haber. He was a wonderful friend and adviser, and I think he would have loved to have been here tonight...I'm very, very, very proud to be accepting this award on my behalf, but also on Gary's. He was a great guy."
Following her emotional speech, Underwood stepped back to wipe away her tears before she started singing "Jesus, Take the Wheel." You can watch her touching speech in the video below.
We couldn't think of anyone more deserving of this award than Underwood! Congratulations!
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