In 2004, Janice Lucas of Richmond, Virginia, gave birth to a stillborn baby girl. She remembers the kindness of the people around her at that difficult time, including two women who crochet blankets for newborns. "I don't know what it is about that, that sticks in my mind and just brings me a little comfort and joy, even now," Janice says.
When Janice takes on Oprah's Pay It Forward Challenge, she makes it her mission to find the two women who helped her in her time of need. Janice and the women meet up at a local restaurant, and she tells them how much the blanket means to her. She donates materials to help them make more of their cherished baby blankets and caps for other mothers in need. And as a special treat, she buys each of them a spa package!
Janice also donates to the Hospital Hospitality House of Richmond, which provides a place to stay for family members of hospital patients. "I definitely am excited about making a donation to Hospitality House, because we've all experienced a time in our lives where we've just had so much on us and so much pressure … that it was such a relief to have somebody [else] take the load," Janice says. She presents $573 to the organization in honor of a heart transplant patient and his wife who have stayed there the longest.
Janice says the challenge has motivated her to give more often. "Hopefully, the spirit will catch on, and as I do acts of kindness for other people, then they will also do acts of kindness for someone else," she says.