Broke mother had nothing but $8 in her bank account—but when stranger offers her $5,000—they make her choose

September 8, 2017 3:18 pm Last Updated: December 21, 2017 2:58 pm

Kate, a mother of three, had been struggling for quite a while. She worked two jobs—one cleaning her daughter’s preschool on weeknights, and another over the weekend. Her husband worked around the clock as well.

They had been recently hit with a notice that their electricity would be disconnected, and their eldest son was told he needed braces. And Kate had nothing but $8 left in her bank account.

So imagine her surprise when a random young man on the street stopped her and told her he needed to give away $5,000.

Kate laughed, because it must have been some coincidental joke. But no, he explained. He really had $5,000 to give away—or at least his bosses did.

It turned out he was an intern at a radio station nearby, and he needed to find a stranger on the street to give the money to for a special radio program. There was nothing sketchy about it, and Kate was reassured.

However, there was still a catch. The intern told her she would need to come and listen to a recording of an interview with another woman—and then if she still wanted the $5,000, it was hers.

With a family to feed and an electricity bill to pay, Kate could not say no. Her family desperately needed the money, and if this was all it took, she would do it.

Kate followed the intern to the station and met radio hosts Kyle Sandilands and Jackie Henderson at the KIIS station. They sat her down to listen to a recording from an interview earlier that day.

It was a short clip of a young woman named Ashleigh.

“My dad passed away really suddenly,” she started her story.

It had been completely unexpected. She was told that he had just gone to work as normal, even though he didn’t feel well, and then in the blink of an eye he had just collapsed. By the time the nearest person got to him—he was already dead.

Ashleigh’s voice started to break as she told her story. After her father’s heart attack, she had to buy tickets to go home to New Zealand—it had cost $2,500 on her credit cards—and she’s now trying to pay it off.

But she had promised her mother, who now lives alone in New Zealand, that she would visit again soon. To make matters more stressful, her partner also had a work accident a few years ago, which has decreased their income.

As Kate listened to Ashleigh’s plight, she began to cry.

Jackie and Kyle told Kate she had 24 hours to decide whether to keep the $5000 or give it to Ashleigh, and they would invite her back the next day to hear what she had to say.

When Kate returned, she said this was possibly the hardest decision she ever had to make in her life.

“I really feel for this lady, but I know that we need the money as well and my husband works really hard,” she started. As she started to explain their situation—her two jobs, the braces, the electricity being shut off, the hosts were shocked at the position they had put her in.

Kate desperately needed the money, and the hosts agreed. “We really do, it would make a huge difference,” she started.

“But I don’t think I can take it,” Kate continued, surprising them both. “I know we need it but we’ll manage. I didn’t have this money yesterday and I didn’t have it they day before, and I will probably not have it tomorrow.”

“You have never met this girl Ashleigh,” Jackie told Kate.

“I know. I just think there should be more people in the world that help people,” Kate said.

“I think the world would be a nicer place,” she continued. “I just think, my kids—I have to do this for my kids, which I know sounds weird because I should take the money for my kids, I know, but…”

Both hosts were deeply moved, and Jackie was practically tearing up as well. “What a wonderful mother you are to your children. You need this money, I think, even more than Ashleigh does,” she commented.

“I’m going to give it to Ashleigh,” Kate decided. “And I’m so sorry to my family.”

Ashleigh, on set now as well, started crying. She was so grateful because it would make such a difference, not only to her immediate family.

“I’ve always thought I just wish there was more people like my dad in the world. I just said yesterday what a good person he was—and now I’ve found someone,” she said, giving Kate a big hug. “This is what my dad would’ve done. I’m just so grateful.”

Difficult as it was, Kate was determined to let the $5,000 go out of her life, but the hosts could not believe it.

“You know, that gives me hope—in this world where we don’t trust each other and we’re all scared of terrorism and burglaries and everyone’s tiptoeing around on eggshells—to see something this genuine and selfless is quite inspiring,” Kyle commented. “I’m blown away in all honesty.”

Kate’s words were so powerful they moved the radio hosts to immediate action. Kyle and Jackie decided they would each give Kate $2,500 out of their own pocket, since the radio station could not do it.

“I cannot let you do what you do and walk out of here and still struggle,” Kyle said.

“I’ve never met a more deserving person than you.”

Still shaken by her emotional decision, Kate was crying as she answered “that’s so kind of you,” and “I really don’t expect that at all.”

The way Kate had made her decision was very personal—she wanted her children to see that the world could be a kinder place if we all just thought of others. But her decision ended up affecting thousands who were moved by her heart-wrenching words on air.

“I’m overwhelmed, I really am,” Kate said.

Watch Kate’s interview here:


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