The Pay It Forward Challenge
Marty Mero passes out coats to families who need them.
Marty Mero of Goodrich, Michigan, uses her challenge money to buy winter clothing for families in need. A local pastor puts her in touch with members of the Hispanic church in his ministry. Several have moved from warmer Latin American countries without clothes to take them through a hard, Michigan winter.

On a cold autumn night, Marty, her husband Carl and their 7-year-old son Ty go shopping. Marty wants Ty to learn the value of giving by helping her. Armed with a list provided by the pastor, Marty buys coats for men, women and children in different sizes. She gets a special kick out of buying tiny clothes for a 2-month-old boy.

Finally, it's time to pass out the coats! Back at the church, they are graciously received.

"I didn't ask for it, but the Lord sent it and it's a blessing," a grateful man says in Spanish. When Marty asks one woman how the gift makes her feel, she laughs and says, "I feel warm!"

To her dismay, Marty realizes that four people will go home empty-handed. No worries—she races back to the store to buy more coats.

For Marty, the challenge fulfills a dream. "I just wanted to go through this life and come to the end of it and realize that it wasn't all about me, that I really did leave the world a better place," she says. "I feel that I've done that in a small way. And I hope that this really won't stop, that this is something that we've started that'll go for the rest of our lives."