When Linda Ruddy helps a struggling single mom, she sets in motion an outpouring of generosity that more than quadruples the amount on her Pay It Forward Challenge debit card.
Through the Artemis Center for Alternatives to Domestic Violence in Dayton, Ohio, Linda finds Christina, a mother of seven children from 2 to 15 years old. Christina, who works as a nurse's assistant, drives her kids to school and daycare every day in an aging van that she can't afford to repair. An inspection reveals that the van needs a new transmission, so AAMCO Transmissions steps up to donate the parts and labor—a $2,500 value! The crew at Carl's Body Shop takes care of other repairs, plus a tune-up, detailing and a remote starter so Christina doesn't have to go out in the cold to start the car.
With her car problems solved, Christina is free to use the $1,000 from Linda to buy necessary items for her family. A shopping spree yields a microwave, towels, an ironing board and clothes for all seven kids. But there's even more good news—Generation Dayton, a local organization of young professionals, has chosen Christina's family for their Adopt-a-Family program for the holidays! They'll provide a Christmas tree and presents for the entire family. And Al Sicard, a local businessman, hears about Linda's work with Christina and contributes another $1,000 to the Artemis Center's "Survivor Fund" to provide legal services.
Linda says the time spent completing the challenge was really gratifying. "I started with $1,000, and it is amazing how the word spreads and how many people I know, and many people I don't know, became involved."