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Highlights from Season 1 Oprah's Big Give - Episode 5 Recap


Original Air Date:

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Episode 5 - "The Big Give Road Trip":

Nate and the 5 remaining contestants kicked off their "Big Give Road Trip" challenge in Georgia with race car driver Danica Patrick. The mission would challenge the contestants to perform random acts of kindness to strangers in small towns across Georgia by following their maps and using the money provided for them in their Ford trucks. A second part to the mission would come later in a text from Oprah.

Cameron's Random Act of Kindness:

Cameron started the first part of the challenge in Decatur, Georgia on a mission to help a perfect stranger. Cameron decided to approach a random house where he met Horace who was in the process of moving the contents of a rented business office into a rental truck. Horace commented how great it was that Cameron showed up out of the blue to help him - had Cameron not been there, Horace would have had to move all of the boxes himself.

Brandi's Random Act of Kindness:

Brandi's random act of kindness challenge brought her to Conyers, Georgia where she met a local attorney, Gary, at the pharmacy. Gary took Brandi to a construction site where a shelter for families and children was being built - there Brandi met Jeff and Ashley and learned Dorothy's story. Dorothy was a single mother who went to school during the day and worked at night but had recently been laid off and was falling behind on her rent payments. Brandi asked Gary to match her $1000 contribution and he agreed! Brandi was able to meet Dorothy and give her $2000 to get her back on her feet.

Rachael's Random Act of Kindness:

Rachael was sent to Marietta, Georgia for her random act of kindness. After approaching a random house, Rachael was told by the woman that she didn't need anything at that time. Instead of leaving, Rachael decided to clean her patio for her.

Stephen's Random Act of Kindness:

Stephen's random act of kindness challenge brought him to Newnan, Georgia where he met a woman whose son was having a little league game that evening - Stephen wanted to provide the kids with a BBQ. Stephen found a restaurant to donate food and organized a tent and drinks for the event. Stephen also donated $1000 towards a new batting cage.

Sheg's Random Act of Kindness:

Sheg followed his challenge to Smyrna, Georgia where he first stopped at the fire station to ask for a name of someone who may need help for the day. The paramedics directed Sheg to a woman whose daughter they had helped that day. When Sheg arrived at the house, the neighbor told him that the family's daughter had just passed 90 minutes before and that they were still at the hospital. Sheg made a point to stay with the Francis family and offer the support that he could during such a challenging time. Ms. Francis described her financial situation to Sheg who gave her the $2500 he had to put towards the funeral.

Brandi's Challenge from Oprah:

After Oprah's txt that directed contestants to meet up with a person for work at 9am, Brandi went to meet Mary. When she arrived at a church, Brandi learned about Heaven's Grocery Store that Mary and her husband Al opened in 1987. The ministry had run out of food and had to start turning people away and hoped that Brandi could help them for the day.

Brandi wanted to find a way to have a dinner that evening plus fill up the food bank. Brandi was not able to fill the bank, but received donations from a local grocery store plus spent $1700 on non-perishable goods - Brandi also gave Mary $1000 to help restart the bank.

Cameron's Challenge from Oprah:

Cameron arrived at a toll booth to meet Beverly and spend the day working with her. Through talking with Beverly, Cameron learned that she is called Big Mamma by her family and is always caring for someone, and that her twin daughters both lost newborns in the same year - a difficult event for their family to deal with.

Cameron met Beverly at her home after working and met her family. After listening to their stories, Cameron gave each daughter $300 and Beverly and her husband $1000 for always helping others. With the last $69, Cameron paid for tolls and had the man in the booth tell others to pay it forward.

Rachael's Challenge from Oprah:

Rachael's task took her to a senior citizens center where she met Patty and spent the day working with her. During her day Rachael joined the band, helped with lunch, joined the dance class, played bean bags and spent time in the quilting room. The quilts the women make are sold to raise money for Eli, a boy who needs surgery. To help, Rachael gave the women $1000 towards the money they were raising for Eli.

Wanting to do more, Rachael helped a grandmother whose water and power was going to be turned off. Rachael paid off the overdue bills and paid ahead for 2 months so that she could take care of 8 children.

Sheg's Challenge from Oprah:

Sheg was directed to the home of the Murphy family who have 24 adopted and 4 biological children, many with special needs. Jeanette and John Murphy take care of their children with no outside help and work hard to support their family - it costs $1500 a month just to feed everyone, but they know that every child has value. Sheg decided to help out by cleaning the family garage and throw a luau party for the children with the $500 he had left. The family appreciated the party, but wished the money had been used for more than one meal.

Stephen's Challenge from Oprah:

Stephen's work challenge required him to spend the day with Tom at the Atlanta Zoo cleaning up after the large animals. Stephen worked hard shoveling elephant waste and cleaning their indoor area. Feeling like he didn't do enough for the day, Stephen wanted to give more. After his day at the zoo ended at 4pm, Stephen headed to the Atlanta Union Mission where he gave them a $1000 cash donation plus gifts and volunteered to help serve dinner. After dinner Stephen helped wash the dishes where he met Atlantis, a man who had served in the military and attended college but fell into drugs and struggled to care for his 4 children. Atlantis had been clean for over 7 months and was participating in the recovery program - thanking Stephen for listening to his story.


  • Brandi - she had a strategic plan working at the construction site in heals.

  • Stephen - learned that just listening to someone's story is a way of giving big.

  • Cameron - giving the last $69 to the toll booth was a great idea.

  • Rachael - learned from the women's wisdom at the senior center.

  • Sheg - on the first day he did a great job staying with the family, but the second day was odd and not really what the family needed.

Eliminated Contestant: Sheg

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