“Secret Millionaire” debuted last night in the US, and while I missed it because it aired against on of my favorite shows, I did watch it today via Hulu.com. The show is based on the UK version which takes a millionaire out of his/her normal environment and puts them somewhere in the US that is experiencing a high level of need. The millionaire lives in poverty-level housing and must live on the amount of money he/she would receive on welfare.
During their time, they experience volunteering in several non-profits in the area and their experience is filmed under the ruse of doing a documentary on volunteering. At the end of the week, the millionaire gifts his/her own personal money to the non-profits as he/she sees fit. Yes, the show is sappy and the narrator strange, but in the end, the importance of volunteering is the message that comes out loud and strong.
“We idolize celebrities, we idolize professional athletes, we idolize millionaires, we idolize all the wrong people. The people who have started these organizations…they are the model Americans.” – Dani Johnson
The first episodes takes a mom of five, Dani Johnson, who was homeless in her early twenties. After she started a business from her trunk, she became a self-made millionaire. She volunteers at these three non-profits and all are gifted in the end.
Sure, we could complain that the non-profits are duped by the whole secret identity ruse, but hey, I’m ok with it if the ends justify the means. Not only did the non-profits get the cash from Dani, they got exposure that would cost way more than any non-profit could afford. And if just 10% of the viewers watching donate time and money, I’m OK with them playing on my sympathies.
The show is slated to run for six episodes only. Next is real estate investor Marc Paskin. He’ll spend a week in Detroit searching for people and organizations deserving of his financial help.
Here are the Knoxville Charities highlighted in this episode:
|The Love Kitchen provides meals, clothing and emergency food packages to homebound, homeless and unemployed persons in the Knoxville, TN, area. The elderly sisters, Helen and Ellen, have both been experiencing health issues lately – use their FB account to send your get well wishes.||Special Spaces creates dream bedrooms for children with life-challenging illnesses. As of today, Special Spaces has created over 90 dream bedrooms. It also has affiliates in Tennessee, Ohio, Florida and Wisconsin. It is the vision of our organization to have a Special Spaces affiliate in every state.||Joy of Music Schooll is a nonprofit organization providing free music lessons for children who cannot afford them. All teachers are volunteers. The School also provides instruments, music and supplies at no cost to students.|
|Volunteer ♥ The Love Kitchen on Facebook ♥ The Love Kitchen Website||Volunteer ♥ Donate ♥ Sponsorship ♥ Website ♥ Special Spaces on Facebook||Joy of Music School on Facebook ♥ Joy of Music on Twitter ♥ Joy of Music on YouTube ♥ Joy of Music Website|
Dani did her own broadcast about the show immediately after it aired. She speaks about the worst part of doing the show for her as well as the best. She also discusses how she came up with the donation amounts. She mentions they did 9 days of filming for the 45-minute show and that it was all very real.