Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Jennifer Hudson gave an emotional acceptance speech as she received the People's Choice Award for Favorite Humanitarian last night, January 8, in Los Angeles — for the charity she founded with her sister, Julia, after the tragedy that took the lives of their mother, brother, and Julia's son, Julian.

"I have to start off saying the same thing I said when I won my Oscar: Look what God can do!" Jennifer began as the audience gave her and Julia a standing ovation. "My mother always taught us that without family you have nothing, and whether you know it or not, we all are family, and what happens to the other happens to us, so it's very important to make a difference.”

She related a story from her childhood, when seeing a celebrity who visited her school got her dreaming of success in Hollywood: "We're all so quick to say we can't or 'It happened to them, but it will never happen to me.' Yes, I am a witness. It can all happen to us all. And 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."

She continued: "We want to show them, 'Look, I came from the same area as you, and if I can do it, you can do it, too. It does not stop there.' And I always say, there's more to life than the block you live on."

The sisters also dedicated the award to their late mother and brother.

See the touching tribute in the video below.


Dan Clarendon is an assistant editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow him on Twitter and Google+!