After asking around for ideas from friends, Alison Lechleitner hears about Dwight, a man with liver cancer who works with her boyfriend's father. Just days after Alison returns from The Oprah Winfrey Show, co-workers are hosting a benefit for Dwight at a bowling alley. Alison shows up with a $500 gift card to Wal-Mart and a camera to interview Dwight, who is very appreciative of the gift.
Alison gives the remainder of her challenge money to the Society for the Improvement of Conditions for Stray Animals in Kettering, Ohio. She picks the animal shelter based on its pet therapy program, which brings dogs and cats to hospitals, schools and nursing homes to delight residents and students.
Alison, a student teacher, arranges to have Lexie, a dog, brought to her school. When she asks SICSA how she can help their organization, they tell her that they're in need of supplies to fix up the shelter and to house the animals. So Alison buys a gift certificate at Lowe's and another at PetSmart!.
After struggling to come up with a plan, Alison is pleased with her choices. "There are so many worthy causes and everyone had an opinion on how I should spend [the money]," she says. "Finally, I just realized, all the causes are worthwhile, and the two I picked are just as worthy as any other."