Chicago resident Robin Sipes gives her Pay It Forward Challenge money to the Emmaus Mission Center in Logansport, Indiana. "They have so much work to do and so little money to work with," she says.
The mission center provides a home for girls and women between ages 6 and 21 who need support for lives disrupted by abuse, truancy or pregnancy. Lisa, the home's director, says, "It's a structured environment and they learn a lot of things they haven't learned in a normal upbringing. It's just like a normal big family, and we're just a bunch of moms. We love ‘em like our own."
The La Guia Hispanic Center, another mission project, provides resources for the local Hispanic community, including translation services, counseling and assistance with documents like job applications or immigration papers.
The Benevolence Center, the mission's third initiative, is a clearinghouse for items donated by Logansport residents. A thrift store provides a place for needy families to shop for clothing, furniture and household items at a reduced cost. Some 1,800 families receive supplies from the mission's food pantry each month. Mary Williams, director of the Emmaus Mission Center, says Robin's donation will be very beneficial. "For the on-the-dollar amount, we can get six times as much food, so the $1,000 is going to turn into $6,000. Thank you, Oprah!"