The Pay It Forward Challenge
Her first project is a neighborhood Halloween dinner. From her front yard, she passes out hot dogs, sodas, candy and other treats to families that stop by while trick-or-treating.
Donna then helps two families in need. She buys gift cards, food and toys for the family of a terminally ill child. She also watches the children for two hours, giving the mother a little time to herself. For her third project, Donna buys a spa package and gift cards for a hardworking single mother so she can do something for herself and her kids.
Donna then buys classroom resources for a grade school's special needs class and presents teacher Sara Smith and her assistant with spa gifts. "I felt like I was able to give something back to a cause … that is now a part of our lives," she says. "Until our son's autism, we hadn't realized the extent good people like Sara Smith go to, to give our extraordinary kids the education they deserve."
Continuing her campaign, Donna donates a table and five backpacks filled with toiletries and food to Christ's Kitchen, an organization helping homeless veterans. For her final project, Donna buys a TV for a local youth ministry and adds her own money to buy the children there a video game! "I've always given my time, but this was the first time I've ever had that much money to give, and it was an exhausting pleasure!" Donna says.