The Pay It Forward Challenge
Next, she goes to Wal-Mart to help Family House with items on its wish list. While shopping, she buys groceries for a family with four children. She returns to Family House and picks up the bill for a family with a son undergoing heart surgery.
After helping Family House, Jessica spends $500 to set up a scholarship in the name of Jonathan Beatty, a 22-year-old Marine corporal from Streator, Illinois, who was killed in Iraq. John was best friends with Jessica's nephew, Robert. Robert goes with Jessica to tell John's mother, Sheila, about the scholarship. For Sheila, it's a time to pull out photos and remember John as the happy, smiling teenager he was when he hung out with Robert.
After spending the last of her money on a $100 grocery gift card for a family of 13, Jessica reflects on her experience. "I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that [the challenge money] made a huge difference. Whether it was a small act of kindness or the scholarship we gave, lives were touched. It was amazing."