Judy Schouvieller, Georgia Ness, Paula Kranz and Debbie Cordes, decide to use their challenge money to spread their love of reading. As members of a Minnesota book club, the group decides to buy books for families in need. Working through St. Paul's Red Balloon Book Shop, they hand-pick dozens of books for homeless children living in nearby shelters. The book store later matches Paula's challenge money for a total donation of $2,000 in books!
Georgia gives $1,000 to the Council on Crime and Justice, which runs a novel program for fathers serving time in prison. The men record themselves reading a book to their child, then send the audiotape and book home. The program helps children stay connected to their fathers and allows the dads to assist with parenting while they are in prison. Georgia's gift allows the council to add 75 fathers to its program!
The two remaining book club members, Debbie and Judy, give their challenge money to more families in need. Judy buys $100 Target gift cards, a book—The Best Christmas Pageant Ever—and a pizza certificate for nine single mothers.
Debbie buys $100 Mall of America gift certificates for 10 families staying at Fisher House, a home for those receiving long-term treatment at the Minneapolis Veterans' Administration Hospital. One couple says they will use the money to buy a pair of running shoes for their son, a soldier who was injured in a car accident after returning from Iraq. When Debbie meets the couple, their son is not walking yet but they hope he will use the shoes to run again.