Tampa, Florida -- What would you do with $10,000 to make a difference in the Tampa Bay area?
Seventy real estate entrepreneurs attending a seminar this week were given that surprise mission on Wednesday.
Each of the groups had 3 1/2 hours and $1,500 to go out and make a difference in the community.
"I'm going to give you some rules of engagement. It's mission possible not 'impossible.' The goal is to change somebody's life," said Generous Genius launch project founder Jason Medley.
The seven groups of 10 people brainstormed and then split up, and 10 News followed one team that went to a local church. Group members decided to match the $1,500 dollars and help two people.
Evelyn Cortez is a single parent and is working, but it isn't enough. "The rent is due. That's more important to me," said Cortez. The team decided that keeping a roof over her head was a top priority. "They wanted the rent today or we were evicted. This is right on time," she added.
It was such an emotional moment - some people were overwhelmed by it and walked away.
Christine Chang, who volunteers for more hours than some full-time staff work, had to come back though - because she was next. Generous Genius paid for repairs to her car, which was becoming dangerous to drive, and bought college text books for her daughter. The group also picked up a Publix gift card and handed over some cash for extra spending.
"This is like you guys paying it forward and I hope the blessings come back to you 100 fold - and your families," said Chang.
The groups started with a total of $10,500 but they put some of their own money in and ended up spending a total of $25,650.
Here are a few updates from the groups:
- One group bought groceries and school supplies for 21 families at Walmart and also put tires on a woman's van who had just blown two tires.
- Another group bought school supplies for two kindergarten classes at a school that has 98% of students on reduced and free school lunches. They also gave gift cards to cover healthy school snacks for the year and are putting an addition on a foster parent's trailer.
- Another group went to Shriner's and fulfilled wish lists. And bought a car for a young lady who's dad is having health issues and her car just got stolen.