Wendy Ralph's grandparents raised five children on a farm in West Virginia on very little money. Despite their hardship, the couple always managed to scrape together a few dollars for charity every year. Wendy decides to honor her grandparents' spirit of giving with her challenge money.
Having lost her job in July, Wendy is grateful to be part of the Oprah's Pay It Forward Challenge. "To have the chance to give $1,000 to three of the charities that are dear to my heart, I'm very much appreciative of that opportunity," she says.
In one long day of kindness, Wendy accomplishes her goals. She spends $400 on new books for the reading program at Herbert Elementary School in Chicago. She then visits Midwest Brain Injury Clubhouse, where she donates breakfast items, a copier cartridge and a special pair of mittens for a man who has problems with one of his hands.
With the remaining $300, Wendy buys bedding and a microwave for Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, an organization that provides companionship for senior citizens.
Wendy says her day of giving left her exhausted—but in the best way possible. "This is beyond my wildest dreams, and it's a day I will never, ever forget," she says.