DETROIT – For the past two weeks, Mike Staff Productions asked a question on their Facebook page: "If you were handed $500 to help someone else in need, what would you do with the money?"
More than 300 people submitted ideas.
"It's been both heart-wrenching and heart-warming to read all the submissions", said company founder & former 101 WRIF DJ, Mike Staff. "There is so much need in our community … as well as a lot of compassionate people with a desire to help."
Staff and his team had the difficult job of picking 50 finalists, which were then voted on by their Facebook fans over the weekend.
"I wished we had the resources to help them all", Staff said. "There wasn't even one that wasn't deserving."
On Tuesday, Staff announced the five winners and will donate $500 to each, so they could serve others with the money.
The winners are:
1. Pass it on!
John Carlos from Detroit had an idea that he hopes will multiply the giving spirit of the challenge. This Wednesday at noon, John is going to visit a local grocery store and surprise 20 random people with $25 each to help pay for their groceries. The catch? He will ask that each person be sure to do a random act of kindness for someone else before the end of the day.
2. Wheelchair ramp for brothers with muscular dystrophy
Lindsey Miller of Detroit knew of two brothers, both extremely weak from muscular dystrophy, who are (for the most part) trapped in their own home because they do not have a wheelchair ramp. The ramp would mean freedom to the brothers. So, Lindsey will use the $500 to buy supplies and Mike Staff Productions is in the process of rallying together a team of carpenters who will help build the ramp.
3. Provide a Christmas to two different children.
Billy Carr, a volunteer fireman for the Northfield Twp. Volunteer Fire Department, is going to use the $500 to help provide a Christmas to two children in two different families… each living with single grandmothers. This Friday, Santa will deliver the presents on a fire truck for a Christmas experience that they'll never forget.
4. Gifts for Soldiers in Iraq& Afghanistan
Jamie Moore's husband was deployed for Afghanistan this week and isn't sure when he'll be home. Having such an intimate understanding of how much our service men and women miss their families at Christmas, Jamie decided to use the $500 to send as many gifts overseas as possible. With the help of some other military families, Jamie will begin the process of shopping and shipping.
5. Teacher says, "No gifts for me … just supplies for my students!"
Michelle Chevatewa is the President of Warren Fitzgerald School Board and has a first row seat to how budget cuts are affecting our city's classrooms. Michelle became aware of Mrs. Simpson, a second grade teacher at Westview Elementary, who told her students that instead of buying her a Christmas present, to buy much needed school supplies for the classroom. Michelle is going to use the $500 to stock up the classroom with paper, pencils, glue, crayons, etc. so students can learn and prosper throughout the remainder of the school year.