When Mary Koehler of Lansing, Michigan, receives her $1,000 challenge money, she immediately knows she wants to help a woman who goes to her church. Twenty-one-year-old Kaly is an orphan who has never met her real family. Kaly has lived most of her life living on the streets, but thanks to the Women's Opportunity House in Lansing—which has given her a place to live—she has been able to survive. Now, she is making great strides in creating a better future for herself by attending community college.
To help Kaly on the road to her new life, Mary decides to take her on a $300 shopping spree for new clothes! While shopping, Kaly decides to continue the chain of kindness by using part of her money to buy pajamas for a girl she knows who has to sleep in her clothes.
The rest of Mary's money goes to buying gift cards for the Open Door Ministry, a day shelter for homeless people that provides food, shower supplies and laundry facilities. Mary enjoys helping Kaly and the people at the Ministry and intends to continue helping. "I'm especially grateful because it taught me a lot. I'm going to try to get out of my safe little world that I tend to hang out in," she says. "I respect Kaly, and if she lets me, I want to let her into my life and family."