Episode 4: The $100,000 Giveaway
"Gavin and I heard what you were doing," Joe says. "We wanted to be involved, so we brought you a little something." The "little" something? A briefcase filled with $700,000!
To top it off, because the challenge is so big, two contestants will be sent home this week.
Carts fly as the shoppers grab as much merchandise as they can. Five minutes later, Rachael has spent $10,000 of her cash.
"This challenge was tailor-made for me," Kim says. "It's going to be the brightest I've shined so far."
While he's there, Cameron meets a customer whose bill he is paying off, as well as the man's son, Manuel.
"Nobody has ever done that for us," Manuel says. "This is the best day of my life."
The spirit of giving is in the air when Oscar, an employee at the shop, agrees to pay for every oil change that comes in the next day. "We'll definitely try and pass it on!"
One major way CHARLEE supports its members is by providing them with public transportation passes, so Brandi heads directly to the transit station, where she purchases $10,000 worth of bus and train passes.
At the supermarket, Sheg announces over the loudspeaker that he will be paying for the groceries of the first 100 people who come to the cashier. While people hesitate at first, the store soon erupts with shoppers rushing to the checkout line.
"It's like winning the lotto," one customer says. "But with food!"
Promising to return the next day at noon and honor his word to pay for the funeral, Eric leaves the wake to try and spend the Maloof brothers' money in other places. "I'm definitely feeling some anxiety—$100,000 is a lot of money, and we've only got a short amount of time to get it all out there," he says.
"I'm going now to Dade County Animal Shelter, where they really do need this. And they're open until 7," Kim says. "I realized this day isn't lost."
"I woke up this morning for a normal Friday. And we're coming home with a boat," a Shake-A-Leg volunteer says. "That's pretty exciting."
"Even if I just did this, it would be worth it all," Brandi says. "That was the best time of my life. I brightened so many people's days."
As time runs out in the challenge, Rachael rushes across town to get to the event. With 15 minutes until the end of the day, she announces that she is giving the Foundation $10,000 worth of supplies.
Stephen and George buy almost $30,000 worth of appliances and electronics, including stoves, refrigerators, freezer, microwaves, computers and iPods, to give away door-to-door in an impoverished neighborhood. "We're going to hand out all this stuff to about 30 or 40 families," Stephen says. "And then we're going to be out of here. We're going to have all the money spent."
"Today was probably one of the most momentous days of my life," George says. "Working with my son was fabulous and brought us much closer for the day and, hopefully, for the rest of our lives."
Because of time constraints, Eric's last focus is gift cards. Although he knows he is being judged on creativity, he figures this is a quick way to spend a lot of money.
"It bummed me out that I didn't have time to make it to Ralph White's funeral," Eric says. "So the last thing I did was make a pretty large donation to the Police Athletics Club, which basically bought athletic gear for all the Little League kids, and that was pretty cool."
"Eric just didn't do what he said he would do for the family in the funeral home," judge Jamie Oliver says. "And Kim, I love that girl, but she was a total disaster in this task. If you want to be the Biggest Giver, you've got to think big, but most importantly, you have to deliver big."
The primary reason for Kim's elimination was because she couldn't give much after she got lost driving…again. "If I had known I'd have to drive at all, I might not have auditioned. I'm a terrible driver, and I'm not good with directions," she says. "I wish I could have hired a chauffeur!"
Kim says she didn't get a GPS unit for her car because she felt like it was outside of the rules of the game. "Part of the challenge was to find your way around in a city you didn't know," she says. "For me, it was like facing a demon, and I survived that. I feel pretty good about it even though I didn't give as much as I would have liked."
After her time as a Big Giver, Kim says she's no longer the thoughtless, self-centered person she once was. "My life has been changed forever. Now I don't worry as much about what to wear. I worry more about living in the moment," she says. "I'm volunteering, and I've really gotten involved. My new favorite hobby is spending time with children and mentoring."
Tony says Eric's elimination came down to some really bad luck. One of Eric's ideas was to find a creative way to use gift cards, which didn't work the way he'd hoped. "My idea was to unite the community—the fire department, the police department, people that live there," he says. "The fire department was going to go out in the neighborhood and pass out the gift cards."
More disappointing was his failed plan to pay for police officer Ralph White's funeral. "To this day, that absolutely destroyed me that I couldn't do that," he says.
Despite being sent home, Eric says he hopes Oprah's Big Give accomplishes its goals. "It literally re-emphasized the fact that there are so many people out there in need, but there are so many people out there that want to help. They want to get involved, and they just don't know how," he says. "Shows like this will inspire people to give back."
In 1944, Ralph and four other African-American cadets changed history when they were sworn in as Miami's first black police officers. They had to take their oaths outside because black people were not allowed inside police headquarters. After receiving their badges, these brave pioneers patrolled the streets on bicycles and were not allowed to arrest white suspects.
Despite the injustices he endured, Ralph served his community proudly and honorably for more than 30 years. He lived to be 90 years old.
The Maloof brothers, who started Episode 4 with their $100,000 challenge, were also moved by Ralph's story. In fact, they are so inspired they decide to help his surviving family—wife Josephine, daughter Avis and son Shali—by reimbursing the $20,000 cost of the funeral!
First, they opened $5,000 bank accounts in the names of 20 babies in the hospital who had medical complications. "When they're 18, they'll have a nice savings account for their college education," Joe says.
But that still leaves about $30,000. "We thought, 'Well, why don't we just give it to the audience?'" Joe says.
That comes out to $100 for each audience member! "You can spend it on yourself," Oprah says. "But you'll feel better if you share it with somebody else."
Special thanks to all those who helped during this episode of Oprah's Big Give