I have a short drive to work each day and don't tend to listen to the radio much, but when I do I find myself tuning into Air1. I love this station and often will listen to it over live streaming at work when I have more "brainless" work to do that does not require alot of concentration. Luckily for my co-workers I usually remember where I am at and don't start belting out loud the wonderful music I hear (and if you work with me and I have done so before, I apologize now.)
One day last week on my way to work they had an interview with a woman named Dani Johnson who was going to be in the premier of a new show called "Secret Millionaire" on Sunday, March 6th. After listening I was curious so I set my TiVo to record the series and I had a chance yesterday to watch the first episode.
I must admit, I cried through almost the entire show. Dani is a woman who had a very rough childhood and was homeless and on welfare at the age of 21. Within just a couple years through hard work and perserverance she became a millionaire and is now a radio personality and a motivational speaker, with a heart for those who are now in the place she was once in. In the show she spends one week in a Knoxville area which is known for it's poverty and bad neighborhoods. She is given a small run down one bedroom apartment to live in and $40 cash to hold her through the week.
She spends her days looking for groups who are committed to improving and helping the community. Dani find three such groups and they all touched her heart and mine as I watched. At the end she reveals to them who she really is and gives them money to help in their continued efforts to reach out to others.
The groups she found were:
The Love Kitchen - Their motto is "Everybody is God's Somebody". This is a kitchen which has been opened in the 1980s and is run by twin 82 year old sisters, Helen and Ellen. These women were absolutely adorable and exuded love. Dani mentions in the show that the name fits perfectly because everything about these two women speaks of love, as she is right. They have created a safe place where those who are homeless can come for a good homecooked meal (and these are really good meals!) and create a family environment with others who are in need. The kitchen also delivers meals to those in the area who are homebound. Just thinking of these two precious ladies brings a smile to my face. They are living examples of how we should treat one another. On their website and in the show they talk about the truths their daddy taught them growing up:
1. Never take the last piece of bread. Someone may come by in need of it.
2. There is only one race, the human race.
3. There is only one Father and that is the Father in Heaven.
Please visit their site - http://www.thelovekitchen.org/ And pray for Ellen as she has been admitted to the hospital with chest pains.
The Joy of Music
This is a nonprofit organization in the Knoxville area that provides music instruction for children who could not otherwise afford to learn music. They have a waiting list of about 50 children at any given time due to the need. On the show Dani met with three very talented young men who have benefited from this organization and have in some cases earned themselves scholarships for college. It was so amazing to see the joy and hope in these young men's eyes, young men who without this organization may have ended up in a very different scenario. http://joyofmusicschool.wordpress.com/
This is an organization started by a mother of nine (three children born to her and six adopted) who remodels rooms for children who are ill. Kind of like a Make A Wish for bedrooms. In the episode Sunday night they were remodeling a little 5 year old girl named Daisy's room to be a princess bedroom. Daisy has leukemia. It was amazing to see the smile on her face and her family when they saw Daisy's new room. **Spoiler Alert** And later in the show when Dani was visiting the groups and presenting them with checks she gave one to this family too. I had tears streaming down my face watching the reaction of her family - especially her older sister and her dad. Wow! http://www.specialspaces.org/
If you missed the episode and did not record it, you can watch the full episode on ABC's website. They also have links to the organizations featured on the show and ways you can help.
I can count on one hand the shows that I record and watch faithfully. If the first episode is any indication for the future of this one, I will be adding this show to my list.