June 03, 2012 07:00 PM by Veronica Dudo
ABC’s hit reality TV series where some of America’s most successful self-made millionaires look for those in need and reward them with hundreds of thousands of dollars is back! Secret Millionaire sends millionaires in disguise into the country’s poorest areas to spend a week looking for deserving organizations, charities and people. On tonight’s episode, a father and daughter head to Newark, New Jersey which is the fourth poorest large city in the country. World-famous artist Scott Jacobs and his daughter Alexa head out on an adventure that will change their lives forever!
Scott and Alexa travel to Newark, New Jersey which is seven miles from where Scott was born. The house they will be staying in for the week is extremely run-down and really gross. For Alexa it’s quite a shell shock since she’s never even cleaned a bathroom before! The father and daughter will be living on $71.03 which is the food stamp allowance for a two person household.
In the first 10 minutes both Scott and Alexa are already shedding tears because of the poverty they see around them. After meeting with locals, Scott says about Newark, “It’s a city that needs some love.”
First, they head to I.Y.O. an organization run by Mrs. Wallace that helps young adults in the community work together and learn life skills they may not be getting at home. Alexa honestly says, “I’m lazy.” But she does want to help people while they’re on their mission in Newark. Scott and Alexa head out with the group for a routine activity–cleaning a local cemetery. Alexa says that she has also never cleaned a cemetery before.
Since 2008, the homeless rate in Newark has jumped to 40% with 6,000 believed to be veterans. Scott says he would love to help veterans. The Jacobs find the G.I. Go Fund which helps homeless veterans. The G.I. Go Fund was set up in honor of Seth, a soldier who died while disengaging a bomb–he saved 18 members of his platoon. Scott and Alexa are asked to go on a “midnight mission.” From 4am-6am they will locate homeless veterans and give them food and information. During their briefing volunteers are told to be aware that the homeless could have weapons, could be mentally unstable and that they should stay within an arm’s length away! Both Scott and Alexa are nervous about searching for homeless people at dawn! Police are also escorting the group of volunteers. Alexa is braver than she thinks and goes up to a homeless guy named Ray. He tells her that he served in Vietnam and that he abused drugs and alcohol therefore his wife left him. The next day, during an event at the G.I. Go Fund, Alexa see’s Ray and says she is so happy he stopped by after she invited him.
Glassroots is an organization that teaches urban youth business and entrepreneurship through glass making. Scott is an artist and is really touched by how much of an impact the organization has on the young members of the community. While there, Scott meets Chris who had to sell drugs to support his family after his father left. Scott says he can identify with Chris–a young artist–so he wants to make a donation.
Ready to reveal themselves Alexa and Scott explain the truth and their true identities. The father and daughter donate a $20,000 check to Glassroots.
Scott also tells Chris that he would like to be a mentor to him and that he never wants him to sell drugs again but to follow his dream. Scott gives Chris a $2,500 check. Chris says, “I feel like they saved my life.”
Back at I.Y.O. Scot and Alex give Mrs. Wallace a $50,000 check–she is so overwhelmed with joy! Scott and Alexa also decide to donate to the G.I. Go Fund and hand them a check for $75,000! The organizers, volunteers and Seth’s mother are in shock and so very grateful.
Alexa says about the whole experience, that her view on life has forever changed and that she now knows the value of a dollar. Scott reflects that he learned more about himself then he ever thought possible during his trip, became closer to his daughter and is changing his priorities.
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Photo Credit: ABC