Jodi Champagne picked a good day to be on the Oprah Winfrey show last month. She and everyone in the studio audience got $1,000, a camcorder and an assignment-- to pay the money forward to someone in need.
Sunday October 15.
Baily Schriver and her sister Jenna lost everything in an apartment fire started by a neighbor.
"We didn't have renter's insurance," said Schriver, "so none of our stuff was covered."
Jodi saw Baily on 11 News and knew instantly how she would spend her $1,000. Jodi and her sister Kelly broke the news at Old Chicago where the girls work. by giving Baily a $1,000 tip.
"She gave us a $1,000 tip," said Baily. "l almost started crying, it was wonderful."
"Jodi could have picked anybody to give the money to," said Jenna, "but she gave it to us!"
There's a special reason Jodi picked the Schriver sisters.
"I was in a fire when I was little and I know what it's like," said Jodi. "It stinks."
The 2 sets of sisters went to Wal-Mart to spend the money on everyday things like picture frames and pillows, a few necessities and a special treat for each-- an i Pod for Jenna and a camera for Baily. $1,000 and a couple of million dollar smiles-- a world away from the morning of the fire.
"It makes me wanna give back to others," said Jenna.
Thanks to another surprise, the sisters didn't have to wait to give back.
"Wal-Mart matched Oprah's $1,000 gift," said Jodi. "So after Jenna and Baily did their shopping, they helped us help another family who lost all their stuff in a fire."
Mattresses, baby wipes, clothes and diapers-- the ladies stuck to their budget while they paid it forward again. The grand total for the second round of shopping? $1,000.38-- Wal-Mart picked up the the extra 38 cents. It was a day the Schriver sisters won't forget and a life lesson Jenna says they'll carry with them forever.
"Try and give back to others, because you never know when you're going to need someone to help you."