TO GIVE OR NOT TO GIVE

The Big Give is a new show created by Oprah Winfrey. The purpose of the show, I believe is to raise awareness about giving. Oprah chose several people from around the world to compete in this new reality show that awards the winner a surprising $1,000,000. The Big Give came to Denver, CO on yesterday’s episode. It was thankfully a definite upgrade from last Sunday’s show with a few exceptions.

Last Sunday, the premier, we were introduced to the contestants and their first challenge. All of the contestants were paired up and given a person to help. Let’s talk about the choices of people that were chosen. They were definitely not in need. There was a healthy sized woman who lived in a homeless shelter with her 16 year old (legally old enough to work) son and 13 year old daughter. She was ultimately given a car and help with rent on a new place. I don’t feel sorry for someone who ended up in the homeless shelter for any reason. That money could have been spent on the whole shelter, like getting them in classes, hosting a career fair there, bringing in a life coach etc. Another “needy” person that was featured was an almost graduated medical doctor. He had over $200,000 in debt from paying for medical school. The basis for helping him out was if his debt was paid off, he could help kids in America more with his freed up money. Whatever. The last person that struck a nerve with me was a guy who received a purple heart from the army. Okay, he had a house that he couldn’t pay for, which was bigger than the average size house, his wife didn’t work, all of his limbs were attached and he had no visible injuries. He can’t be surprised by his income considering he’s been in the service for 10 years. Needless to say, I wasn’t impressed by the show on the first episode, but thankfully that all changed.

On yesterday’s episode, the task was to find people on the street and help them in a big way. Ladies and maybe some gentleman, it was a definite mascara alert. One contestant on there treated HIV positive ladies to a spa day and a nice dinner at a restaurant. A 16 year old girl who never spoke was given the gift of a consultation with a doctor who will assist her with speaking for the first time. Another contestant gave money to underprivileged women who were giving birth or just had given birth to their babies in the hospital. The one unexplainable act was when a contestant gave money to a soldier, who once again you couldn’t see any noticeable wounds or handicaps, money and Friday’s donated their proceeds from one night. The contestant gave the manager who in no way needed anything a new car and the soldier $4000. I’m sure that soldier wasn’t too thrilled to see that.This show definitely turned around from the first week, and focused more on giving to the needy. I don’t like the undertone that if you fought in the war, you’re needy. That’s becoming the common denominator with the show so far. What about underprivileged people who want to fight in the war, but are turned away for having a disease?

Hopefully in weeks to come this show will focus on the true needy people and help them in a big, big way.

Cheralyn Stevenson-Green