The Winner of Oprah's Big Give Returns with a Surprise
"The whole idea of the show, the Big Give, was to let people know how great it feels to give," Oprah says. "You know, I love giving things to people, but what I receive in return is far greater than even the gift that you give. That's the beauty of giving."
Before crowning the show's winner in the finale, Oprah revealed the Big Give's biggest surprise: The winner would go home with $1 million—half to give away, half to keep. In the end, the winner was Stephen Paletta, a small businessman and devoted father of three.
Stephen says he gave some of the money to the charity he founded, the International Education Exchange, which connects students in America with students in Rwanda. He also supported his fellow Big Give contestant Eric's CAN-DO foundation, and Green Chimneys, an organization that helps at-risk children.
But Stephen's biggest project is just getting started.
Stephen says this prompted him to start GiveBack, an organization which allows people to easily start their own personal foundation or charitable savings account. A GiveBack user can donate directly to his or her foundation with a tax-deductible gift and give away the money to an accredited charity whenever they want. Or, when someone with a GiveBack account makes a purchase from one of the 450 participating national companies, that company will donate a percentage of the sale back to the person's foundation account.
"We've got every major company," Stephen says. "They're all participating. So do all your shopping through GiveBack.org, and I will tell you this: You'll have more money to give, and you'll change the world."
Viewers can to go to GiveBack.org to find out how they also could win $1,000 to give away.