Three longtime friends and retired teachers from Michigan team up to help an unemployed couple with two children and a third on the way.
Sue Dixon, Diane Wood and Betsy Watson meet Vonzet and Sarah through the Deacon's Conference in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Vonzet has been unable to find steady employment and only works a little here and there at odd jobs. Sadly, he can barely cover rent and expenses. He and his wife often have to borrow money to avoid eviction.
"I want to be able to support my family," Vonzet says. "I want my sons to be able to look at me and see that, you know, they don't have to depend on public assistance. They don't have to depend on handouts."
Moved by the family's struggle, Sue, Diane and Betsy get to work. They use their combined challenge money—$3,000 in all—to buy a dresser for Vonzet's 6-year-old twins. They also buy the twins presents and cupcakes to take to school to celebrate their upcoming birthday. Then, they buy a crib and clothes for the new baby and get the family a $300 Kohl's gift card.
But, that isn't all! They pay the families rent for two months and get them a new battery for their car. Friends add baby clothes and other items to the gifts.
Then in honor of "paying it forward," Sue, Diane and Betsy take the twins to a bookstore to buy books for other needy children, and they also buy winter gloves for the poor. "My heart felt like it was going to burst," Betsy says. "It was the best feeling in the world."