Hilary Decesare: Long Beach, Calif.
Season 2 | Episode 12 | Aired 07/8/12
Hilary DeCesare is a co-founder and CEO of everloop.com, the leading internet site devoted to giving kids under 13 a safe place online to connect with friends and express their creativity without fear of bullying, inappropriate conversations or stalkers. Hilary leaves her family and luxurious lifestyle behind to live and volunteer in a neighborhood in need in Long Beach, CA. She seeks out people, young and old, who are making daily sacrifices to look after those suffering from homelessness, grief and hunger, and to care for disabled, neglected animals. None of them know that Hilary is a Secret Millionaire.
Love in the Mirror
Love in the Mirror in an organization that was founded by 8-year-old Jonas Corona and his mother. They help homeless and needy kids. Hilary helps Jonas make some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They later bring gifts and toys to the Precious Lamb preschool, a place for homeless children. Then they head to a park to hand out those PB&J sandwiches to the homeless residents. Hilary watches in awe as Jonas hand-delivers the sandwiches to people she's typically run from. The young boy is a true inspiration to her.
At the end of the week, Hilary pops by the Corona home to let the family know that she never expected to be inspired by an 8-year-old. But that's exactly what happened. That's why she presents Jonas with a check for $15,000. Tears flow from the entire family. As for Jonas, he has a big smile on his face. Even at such a young age, he knows just how much good he can do with this gift.
New Hope Grief Support
Wayne and Susan are the founders of an organization that helps grieving people find hope and healing. They have programs and books for both adults and kids. Hilary joins them on a project. They meet Jose and Jennifer Alonzo and their three daughters. Jose and Jennifer's son died in a tragic car accident three years ago. Their project involves creating a memorial garden for their son, Christian, in the yard. It's a beautiful place that the family can go to in order to find comfort after such an incredible loss.
Hilary learns about a project involving decorating plates. The people who paint the plates share their stories after finishing their artwork. A young girl tells the tale of how her dad fell off a ladder. A young boy speaks of how he felt after losing his grandfather. The stories are sad, but Susan reminds us that grief pulls people together. Hilary paints her plate to honor the memory of the Alonzo's son, Christian.
At the end of the week, Hilary breaks down as she thanks the Alonzo family for letting her into their lives. She then lets Susan and Wayne know that she's giving them a check for $75,000. Susan simply can't believe something like this has happened to them.
Shoestring City Ranch
Hilary meets Karen Thompson, the founder of a ranch aimed at keeping children safe and off the streets. It also teaches them responsibility by caring for rescued animals. Hilary learns that Karen uses a lot of her own money to help keep this ranch running. She meets a volunteer named Taylor who used the ranch as a safe haven from a rough childhood. She's been there for 10 years and actually moved in with Karen for a while. She's the mother Taylor's own mom never was.
At the end of the week, Hilary lets Karen and the others know what she does for a living. It explains why she feels so tied to this organization. That's why she gives Karen a check for $50,000. Tears flow, hugs are given and all of the ranch volunteers let out a happy "woo-hoo" in celebration of the gift they've been given.