The Pay It Forward Challenge
She first stocks up on gifts for recipients, including cameras, gift cards and DVDs. Standing on Michigan Avenue along Chicago's Magnificent Mile, she asks strangers for spare change. Unfortunately, the idea doesn't work as well as she had thought as few people stop to donate.
One man who does give her money is rewarded with a big surprise—a free iPod! But with few people to reward for their charity, Kimberly changes her strategy. She flags down strangers asking them questions such as, "What does kindness mean to you?" before giving them a digital camera, DVDs or gift cards.
After her panhandling adventure, Kimberly visits the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, where she meets James Taylor, a veteran who uses a wheelchair. She gives him a coat, hat, scarf, gloves and other winter clothes, and a basket full of toiletries and treats. She also gives the hospital toys for the holiday party that it puts on for children of homeless and hospitalized veterans.
With her remaining money, Kimberly surprises a family at Applebee's by paying for their meal, and she buys groceries for a stranger.
Kimberly says the challenge will stay with her always. "I feel like I'm extremely blessed to have had the opportunity to give as I did," she says. "My life will never be the same. I think I'll be happy for the rest of my life."