When it’s your birthday, you expect friends and loved ones to shower you with presents -- big or small, just receiving something on your special day just makes the occasion all the more extraordinary. Not unless you are television host Ellen DeGeneres, then you do the exact opposite of that, which was not a shocker knowing that she’s a philanthropist and has been helping other people through her eponymous talk show.
Giving Back to Those Who Give Back
Ellen celebrated her 60th birthday on Jan. 26 but you won’t expect anything less from her – she extended the party on her talk show and even to her fans. She has been known to have a big heart, going to great lengths to help those in need and ease the burden of those struggling. Of late, however, she veered her attention to those just like her: not technically as rich as her but those who have kind souls as well. The comedian went all-out in giving out her fans gifts but there’s one particular family that she presented the biggest surprise the show has ever made.
We are talking about the Daniels family, who fans of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” would probably know as they have guested already in November. Back then, Robert and Christi Daniels, who have four kids, received a lot of presents, including a big flat-screen TV, gift cards, and plane tickets, from the host as part of the “12 Days of Giveaways,” an annual campaign that lavishes the fans of different prizes in the spirit of the holidays.
The family was chosen because of their kind gestures toward other people when they, too, have their own financial issues. Good Samaritans are hard to come by these days but there still certainly are left and right. It’s easy to be generous if you have something to give, but if you are in a place where you can barely fend for yourself, then lending a hand to others may be harder than you thought – which was why Ellen may have singled out the Daniels and surprised them yet again early February.
$1 Million for the Daniels Family
A video clip showed how the family was surprised at their Hawthorne, California residence and was taken for a ride to a “secret” place, aka the studio. Upon arriving at the set, Ellen gave props to the Daniels for paying it forward despite the situation they are in and Christi narrated how the matriarch just paid for a Walmart purchase of a family. The host then revealed that they were about to do something big that was a first for the show.
She gave out a $500,000-giant check for the Daniels family in partnership with Cheerios that Ellen said could cover a lot of things, including their debts, house, and the education of the children. This cued in a barrage of tears from all the family members who couldn’t believe that they were getting half a million dollars. After which, they were given another $500,000-giant check to help them pay it forward.
A Campaign to Pay It Forward
The day before the Daniels family got $1 million, Ellen revealed in the show that they were celebrating One Million Acts of Good, a campaign that she and Cheerios have collaborated with. At the taping, she divulged that all the audience members present were there because they made a good deed. The comedian-turned-TV host then enumerated some of the kind acts, like a couple who used their money to travel 800 miles to help victims during the Hurricane Harvey, a man who resigned from his job to put up a farm sanctuary, and a teacher who donated a kidney to her student’s mom.
Ellen said that anybody who got a Cheerios box under their seat has a wonderful surprise up for them and lo and behold, everyone pulled out a box of the cereal. She then revealed that $1 dollars are divided for all of them, about $2,500, which was placed inside the boxes.
Indeed, not all heroes wear capes. Even when it’s your birthday, Ellen proves that you can pay it forward. That whole week was filled with generosity not just from her, but from her partner Portia de Rossi as well who gave the host The Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund.