James Malinchak is a highly-successful motivational speaker who came from a steel mill town in Pennsylvania. He leaves his lavish Las Vegas-area home to head off to Gary, Indiana. The collapse of the steel industry has hit this city hard. One-third of the residents live in poverty. James will be joining them over the next six days in a one-bedroom apartment with 44 bucks in his pocket.
James meets his neighbor, Sam, who says they are living smack-dab in the middle of a very dangerous area. Sam also mentions one of the charitable organizations in the neighborhood. Let's find out more about it as well as few other establishments that are going to receive a visit from the secret millionaire.
Urban Faith Works
Sam introduces James to Ben Miller and his mom, Gwen. They run Urban Faith Works, a children's afterschool program that's provided free of charge. The program helps kids beat the odds in a city where 90 percent of residents over the age of 25 don't have a college degree. Basically, it keeps kids off streets where gunfire can rip through a school bus at any time. Beth says she shouldn't have a file folder that says "they died too young," yet she does.
James takes part in a gardening adventure where kids plant flowers without the fear of stray bullets whizzing by. This activity is able to take place because of private funding. Ben's minimal salary and Gwen's lack of a paycheck altogether help keep the organization going. That's why both mother and son are floored when James hands over a check for $10,000. Gwen says it's like a miracle was just dropped into their laps.
Adonia Community Services
There's been a problem of widespread trash-dumping across the city of Gary. Adonia Community Services was established to do something about that. James meets Yvonne Kemp, the head of Adonia. She funds the entire project to revitalize Gary. James visits a location where an enormous amount of trash has been dumped. He's amazed by the pride and dedication Ms. Kemp's team shows as they literally clean up the city.
James joins crew leader Eric on another neighborhood trash pick-up. Eric's family life has taken tragic turns over the years. Four of his sisters and his mom have died. This reminds James of the sister he lost. It makes it hard for him to hide his true identity. He's finally able to reveal himself when he hands over a check for $20,000. Ms. Kemp is amazed that somebody believes in her so much. James also gives Eric and his crew new gardening and snow removal equipment that will surely make what they do out the streets a lot easier.
The Baylor Youth Foundation
Toi Baylor runs a basketball scholarship program that started out as an inner-city activity using sports as a means to incorporate education. The kids there get an opportunity gain exposure so that their talents may be seen by college scouts. Coach Tony is the volunteer leader of an impressive eighth grade basketball team. James has a passion for this particular sport, so he loves the hope that's provided here.
During a fundraising effort in town, James learns that Coach Tony considered retiring awhile back. He couldn't go through with it after seeing a tear in one of his player's eyes. He continues to do what he does because he doesn't want to ever see another tear from anyone else. Of course, there's no way to stop Tony from misting up. When James finally reveals his true identity, he donates $50,000 toward the Baylor Youth Foundation and gives Coach Tony a check for $25,000. It's all money well spent by the secret millionaire.