Ali Brown is one of the wealthiest entrepreneurs in the country. She leaves her beautiful Marina Del Rey home to live on welfare wages in an impoverished area that's not all that far from where she lives now. Venice, California may be right around the corner, but it's a world away from the life she has at home. Let's get to know some of the people Ali meets as the Secret Millionaire.
Common Ground offers food, medical treatment and counseling services to young adults in need. Ali bikes down to the beach to dole out some snacks and invite homeless folks to drop by the Common Ground house where they offer things like food and free teeth cleaning. Ali meets former meth addict Dre who turned his life around thanks to Common Ground and his favorite staff member, Courtney.
When Ali returns to Common Ground, she reveals herself as the secret millionaire and hands over a check for $30,000. No one can believe it. Ali wants to make sure that the kids out there know someone cares for them. This moment brings both Ali and Dre to tears. Thankfully, they are tears of joy.
Bread and Roses
Tiana is the Volunteer Coordinator at Bread and Roses, a place where the homeless can make table reservations while dining in a restaurant environment. They serve about 150 people a day. The bread signifies the nourishment while the roses promote a sense of dignity. Ali's never been a cook or waitress, so her first day in the restaurant biz is quite challenging. It's also very rewarding when she sees how these meals affect the people she serves.
Ali is touched by everything Bread and Roses stands for. She reveals herself to be a very successful business woman as she hands over a check for $10,000. A tearful Tiana believes this donation is special because Ali saw what they do first-hand. She made a connection. And thanks to her donation, Ali also made a difference.
Beauty Bus is run by cousins who lost a loved one to a degenerative muscular disease. They bring "serenity, solace and smiles" to ailing people through haircuts, facials, manicures and more. The organization provides service for both the person who is ill as well as his or her caregiver. Ali meets Harry, who is suffering from ALS. He enjoys his service, but is so grateful that his niece is also getting acknowledged in such a special way.
Ali loved her experience as a beauty buddy. She reveals her true identity to the ladies who run the operation. The two cousins are blown away when Ali hands over a check for $10,000. Tears flow as the ladies give thanks for this truly beautiful day.
Harvest Home is a Venice-based organization that provides shelter and guidance to homeless and pregnant women. The Executive Director is a woman named Jennifer Jensen, who introduces Ali to new mom Erica. She came to Harvest Home when she was five months pregnant. If not for this place, Erica may have had to put her baby up for adoption. Tiffany is another new mom who had nowhere else to go after she lost her job during the economic downturn. These stories truly move Ali.
On a return visit, Ali is asked to watch a newborn baby. We learn there is only ever room for eight expectant mothers. To stay at the home, women must enroll in their education program. The place doesn't always know where they'll get funding. Well, that's no longer the case when an emotional Ali reveals her true identity. She hands Jennifer a check for $50,000. Tears flow, as both giver and receiver know exactly how much good this money will do for those who need it most.