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Jennifer Hudson was presented with one of the most important accolades at the People’s Choice Awards last night.

Known for always giving back to the people in her life and the community, the Chicago native was honored with the Favorite Humanitarian Award. And there wasn’t a dry eye in the house as she accepted.

During her speech, Jennifer discussed the organization that got her the award – a foundation she started shortly after the brutal murders of her mother, brother and nephew in 2008.

“I have to start off saying the same thing I said when I won my Oscar – look what God can do!” She said. “This all started, like I said, back home in our church where we grew up. My mother always taught us that without family you have nothing, and whether you know it or not all are family, and what happens to the other happens to us, so it’s very important to make a difference.”

Jennifer’s 57-year-old mother, 29-year-old brother and 7-year-old nephew were brutally murdered by her older sister Julia’s estranged husband William Balfour. Balfour was found guilty and charged with three counts of first degree murder two years later in May 2011. The 32-year-old’s sister Julia joined her on stage during the awards, sporting a heart-shaped necklace with a photo of her son in it.

“We’re all so quick to say we can’t or ‘Oh, it happened to them, but it will never happen to me.’ Yes, I am a witness. It can happen to us all,” she said. “It’s one thing to be a celebrity and have power – but it means nothing if we’re not making a difference with helping someone else and trying to change a life.”

Jennifer’s foundation, the Julian D. King Gift Foundation, was created to “provide stability, support and positive experiences for children of all backgrounds.” It also aims “to help enable them to grow and be productive, confident and happy adults.”

We applaud the humanitarian work Jennifer is doing and hope to see more celebrities follow in her footsteps. See the full video below.

SOURCE: US Magazine | PHOTO CREDIT: WENN

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