Dani Johnson was raised by a family on welfare. She was homeless at the age of 21 and a millionaire by 23. This amazing author/radio host/wife/mom knows a little something about turning her dreams into reality. Now she's ready to make dreams come true for a few deserving others.
Dani leaves her family behind to spend six days in one of the most neglected neighborhoods in Knoxville, Tennessee. She'll have to get by on just $40 for the week. Her rundown, one-bedroom apartment is a far cry from her luxurious home back in Texas. Now it's time learn all about the people she meets.
The Love Kitchen
Two little old ladies named Helen and Ellen run a place called The Love Kitchen. These amazing twin sisters have been feeding the poor and elderly since 1986. They serve over 2,000 people each week. Dani jumps right into action cooking up meals for the needy. She chats with a few of the regulars to discover that The Love Kitchen is more than just a place to dine. Helen and Ellen are building a family there. A woman named Ruth used to come to The Love Kitchen to eat; now she volunteers so others can.
Dani does food delivery for the homebound folks who enjoy meals from The Love Kitchen. There's been a 60% increase in the need for these deliveries over the past year and a half. This has made it hard to keep the organization afloat. But the community rallied and The Love Kitchen is still cooking.
The time comes for Dani to reveal that she's a secret millionaire. She hands over a check for $20,000 to Helen and Ellen. Everyone is stunned. Everyone is in tears. Helen says, "Do you know how many people we can help with this?" Dani can't answer. She's too choked up. As for everyone else, they are all very happy, grateful and inspired.
The Joy of Music - A Youth Music School
Frank Graffeo is the executive director for the Joy of Music, a school that gives free music lessons to disadvantaged kids. They provide the instruments and the music teachers are all volunteers. Longtime volunteer Julie gives Dani the lowdown on the school as they clean up some donated musical instruments.
Dani takes a tour of the school where she meets remarkable musicians and 16-year-old kid with a wonderful voice. There's some amazing talent on display. One young man even scored a full music scholarship to the University of Tennessee. Dani says, "Today I saw hope."
A few days later, Dani returns to The Joy of Music to say goodbye to the students and volunteers. She also reveals her true identity along with a check for $40,000. Frank Graffeo says, "I wasn't expecting a volunteer who was cleaning instruments to do that." Let the music play on!
Dani meets Jennifer, a woman who founded Special Spaces, an organization that creates dream bedrooms for children with life-threatening illnesses. Dani's recruited to help with a room makeover for a five-year-old little girl named Daisy. Our secret millionaire has a bit of a breakdown as memories of a double-aneurism that once afflicted her own daughter come rushing back. But that won't stop Dani from joining the rest of the incredible Special Spaces team in redoing Daisy's room.
Jennifer says she's running out of time to make Special Spaces work. She can't feed her family taking volunteer jobs. But Jennifer also knows that the look on a child's face when they see their new room is priceless. Daisy's room is amazing when the team is done. And that look on the little girl's face really does make it all worthwhile.
The moment arrives for Dani to reveal her true identity and hand over a check for $30,000. A teary-eyed Jennifer is in shock. She says, "You know how many great rooms we'll be able to do?" The team has been hoping to do the room of a sick little boy. They weren't sure if they would make it in time. They will now. Dani then hands over a check for $10,000 to Daisy's family to help with medical expenses. But she knows that the greatest gift the family could ever receive is Daisy beating her illness. Let's hope that happens real soon.