From PEOPLE Magazine Click to enlarge
BARACK OBAMA

"Although Barack Obama has not yet moved into the White House, he has already changed the country"
Sean Pugh
Clyde, Ohio

As a first-time voter, I was honored to take part in a history-making election. I hadn't voted in the past, but this year's campaign motivated me to take stock of what it means to be a citizen of the United States. I registered, read about the candidates, weighed my decision and, on Nov. 4, 2008, I cast my vote. Your story about President-elect Barack Obama is a beautiful keepsake, as well as a reminder for me of how I was inspired to participate in the election and make my voice heard.
Becky Baruth
via e-mail

I am a 70-plus Caucasian woman, and I could not be more excited about Barack Obama. When I heard that he won the presidency, I got chills. When he gave his speech, I got teary-eyed. I would be honored to shake his hand. Our President-elect is intelligent, honest, compassionate and hardworking—just what we need to help get this country out of the hole we're in.
Jean Kelly
Fremont, Calif.

For Barack Obama to win the presidential election and to have people from all races united was to see the realization of Dr. Martin Luther King's dream. God bless America.
LaChanda Hill
Balch Springs, Texas

On the morning of the election, I was at my gym, and there were two older guys talking. One guy said, "Can you believe, 40 years ago I was hanging out with the Klan in Louisiana, and today I voted for a black man to be President?" His friend said, "Well, people can change for the better, and it's about time that America kept its promise to all people." I was blown away! As an African-American, I'm especially proud of how Barack Obama has brought people together. America has a ways to go, but look how far we've come.
Harold Abrams
New York, N.Y.

ANGELINA AND BRAD

I have immeasurable respect and admiration for Angelina and Brad. They put their money, their time and their hearts into helping ease the suffering of people around the world. My hope is that others will take a good, hard look at this couple and aspire to be more like them.
Donna Dodge
Essex, Mass.

JULIANNE HOUGH

Thank you for the story on Dancing with the Stars' Julianne Hough and her struggle with endometriosis. I battled this disease for 10 years, undergoing surgery after surgery, before finding an endocrinologist who found a treatment that worked. Today, my husband and I are the parents of three children. After years of listening to physicians say I'd probably never have kids, I am living proof that through persistence and positive thinking, this disease can be conquered.
Dedra Riggs
Walnut Ridge, Ark.

LUCKY THIRTEEN

Readers were touched by our story about Kathy and Dave Bain, the Sparks, Nev., couple who, with five kids already, took in eight siblings who had been removed from an abusive home. Writes Jessica Leon via e-mail: "God bless the Bains for making a loving sanctuary available to these abandoned children." Since our story ran, readers have offered the Bains used clothing and Christmas gifts, and the family has also been contacted by producers who are interested in featuring them in a possible television series and a documentary film. "We are overwhelmed," says Kathy. But right now they are focused on, what else, another birthday party: Stephanie Bain turned 11 on Nov. 22.

Correction
In our Nov. 17 issue, we should have said that Stephen Shields is Barack Obama's uncle. We regret the error.