For her heartfelt work of helping people and animals in need, the singer was bestowed with the crystal statuette, but she remained humble throughout her speech. “They need us,” she told The Tennessean. “They haven’t made any wrong decisions in their lives. They haven’t done anything to anyone that could be malicious. They live in the garden and they love and it’s our jobs to take care of them.”
Hit-making duo Big & Rich, who received the accolade in 2013, was on hand to present the honor to Underwood. “Carrie is aware of the platform she’s been given and she wants to use it to save the world,” said band member Kenny Alphin.
As a result of her superstar fame, Underwood has been able to give back in countless ways, including through the founding of her C.A.T.S cause (Checotah Animal, Town, and School Foundation), whose mission it is to assist with the services in her hometown of Checotah, Okla. She has also been known to donate $1 per ticket on her headlining tours; last year's Blown Away Tour was her latest venture.
“Those kinds of things, I feel like, make the biggest difference,” Underwood said afterwards. “It’s easy to give money to stuff, and I feel like there’s a lot of stuff that my husband (Nashville Predators hockey player Mike Fisher) and I get to be a part of where we’re like, ‘Please don’t put it out there.’ You want to do things to help people, but not for stuff.”
Check out Underwood's acceptance speech above.