Allison and I watched most of this episode through tear streaked eyes. I heard about Mike Machinski last year when one of my classmates asked me to help her plan the 15 year High School Reunion. I had planned the 10 year reunion pretty much on my own and it was one huge headache. I wanted nothing to do with planning the 15 year reunion but something changed my mind. This time the reunion would also include a fun raiser for the Machinskis. Mike’s wife Becky was a classmate of mine. We didn’t run in the same circles but we knew of each other. When I heard their story I had to help.

For many months I helped out by recruiting classmates to come to the reunion. I put together some donations and I also put together the 2008 Photo-A-Day Calendar that I sold through And I put up a donation button. And bloggers totally came through and I was able to pitch $190.00 into the $1600 total that was raised for the family.

Watching the show tonight, I could see how much the Big Give helped the family. The contestants pulled together to not only pay off the mortgage but they also raised additional money for the education of Mike and Becky’s three beautiful little girls, AND they also got Mike a brand new truck. Wow!

My greatest fear is not being able to provide for my family, to leave them without me and to leave them financially bankrupt would be devastating. This is also Allison’s fear. I can’t imagine being in the position that Mike is in right now. But as I read the family journal I see that both he and Becky are fighters who have such a loving family that they will fight on. It was great to see such wonderful things happen to such nice people who really needed the help.

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29 Responses to “Oprah’s Big Give: Machinski Episode”

  1. Mo says:

    I hadn’t seen this show before, but watched because of your Machinski connection…and I sobbed though the whole thing!

    What an amazing program. I hope that the joy they felt in those few days in NY is with them every day!

    Mo’s last blog post..This just in: Friday, April 4th Declared National Holiday!

  2. Drew says:

    I was dead set against watching another reality show even one that helped people because shows like Extreme Makeover Home Edition, while good, goes way over the top. This show was excellent because while they helped a family out of and extreme situation they didn’t go insanely overboard. They looked at what the family needed and gave that to them.

    And certainly a day like that is one to be cherished for a long time. I’m thinking of that and tearing up right now.

  3. Kim says:

    It amazes me on the generosity of the public in general. I few years ago my dad was diagnosed with cancer and some people in the community held a benefit for him. I was amazed at the turn out as well as the generosity of these people.

    I’m glad everyone came through for this family.

    Kim’s last blog post..In the world of Entrecard

  4. Drew says:

    Communities can really come together behind causes if one person starts the fire in their hearts. We all have the potential to make a Big Give like that even if we just give what we can. Sounds like your community was right on top of things to help out your father. That is a great thing to hear.

  5. Alissa says:

    Thanks for your comment on my blog. Mike and Becky are amazing people, and you are very cool to bring attention to what’s happening to them. I also refused to watch another reality show, but had to when I saw what it was about last night. What an awesome show of generosity and how perfect that it was just what they needed.

  6. Archit says:

    Hey Drew! Thanks for dropping by and wishing me. It was very nice of you. 🙂

  7. Drew says:

    Alissa, Pretty much what I can do is tell people about their situation. Maybe my words will reach the right audience to help them out. You never know who is reading your blog at any given time.

  8. Drew says:

    No problem. My birthday is this Wednesday. April kids got to stick together.

  9. Sire says:

    Being an Aussie I don’t believe I have seen this episode yet but I will sure to keep an eye out for it when it finally gets here.

    Sire’s last blog post..The Cross Of Sacrifice Part Of The Woman’s War Memorial

  10. Drew says:

    Hi Sire,
    Long time no hear from you. You should be able to watch the episode online at It should be up today or soon. Definitely worth watching.

  11. Daniel says:

    yeah, like you mentioned earlier, Extreme Makeover Home Edition tainted my view of these types of shows. But I have to say, the Machinski episode was quite moving.

    Daniel’s last blog post..Wii want to play!

  12. Drew says:

    Didn’t it though, you want people who need a home to be able to live in one that was safe and well built. The homes they create just keep going over the top and over the top. How can people afford the taxes and what about the property value of the neighborhood. Granted the stories are moving but it is out of control on the builds.

    I think that even if I hadn’t known the Machinskis I would have been moved as that sort of thing, a father and his family, moves me every time.

  13. Carol says:

    I saw that show and I thought it was amazing. I have realized that when there is a disaster for someone or a community how much people come together to help. I live down here on the coast where Hurricane Katrina hit and it just amazed me how much help we got from other states the volunteers that come to help rebuild and they are still coming. In times of crisis people pull together and that makes me proud.


    Carol’s last blog post..MAKE MONEY BLOGSPOT USERS

  14. Drew says:

    It is a good thing when people pull together to help. What we often forget to to is 1.) ask for help and 2.) realize that even a small amount counts. Seeing things like this makes me understand more that you don’t always have to go it alone and your contributions help add to the overall projects no matter how small.

  15. Thanks for letting me know it was airing, Drew. I tuned in. Beautiful stuff!

  16. Drew says:

    That is great Eddie, I figured that the episode would be one you would enjoy.

  17. ciara says:

    i could kick myself because i forgot to watch it. you can actually watch the episode online, but for some reason it wasn’t working for me. i’m going to try it again…wish me luck because i really wanted to see this episode!

    ciara’s last blog post..A Cool Giveaway

  18. Drew says:

    Good luck watching the episode. I got home in time to catch a small recap on Oprah (I watch at the gym or if Allison is watching it when I get home) Seeing the recap was also moving.

  19. Natalie says:

    The whole episode made me bawl! It’s so wonderful what was done for them!

    Natalie’s last blog post..Finally Relaxing

  20. Martin says:

    it was really amazing what was done for them…many people come together to help…it was amazing…

  21. Drew says:

    Yes, it was excellent. It made me tear up many times.

  22. Drew says:

    Thanks Martin, it was pretty amazing wasn’t it?

  23. Herbert says:

    It always makes so much pleasure to see, when people do their best to get important things in their life, and especially when they already achieve it.

  24. Drew says:

    When it is well deserved it is an excellent thing.

  25. Luna says:

    Thank you for the very intersting article. I love the blog. Go on that way 🙂

  26. Drew says:

    Thanks Luna, come on back and read more when you get a chance.

  27. Oprah did a great thing getting all of us to think outside of our box to help. Drew is my son, we were on Oprah. I believe the people ON the Big Give were the real winners. It feels great to receive, but it has been so amazing for our family to be able to help others.

  28. Drew says:

    You have a very special boy on your hands. Drew is an awesome kid, and he has a great name BTW.

  29. […] been keeping an eye on the family online and saw that they were selected as part of Oprah’s Big Give. They were given a day to remember in New York, a new truck and some financial help. It was what […]

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