If I asked you to picture Australia in the winter, what comes to mind?
Not so fast.
Where Bri Dredge works as a teacher in Ballarat, a city in the Aussie state of Victoria, winter is actually a lot more like this:
"In Australia?" you ask.
That's why, when Dredge won big on a game show, she wanted to hit up the store to buy 200+ pairs of sturdy winter boots.
Dredge's prize for her win was $20,000 AUD (about $14,700 USD) on the Aussie television game show "Millionaire Hot Seat."
But instead of spoiling herself in a shoe store (because all women love shoes, amiright? #justkidding #stereotypesareboring), Dredge wanted to buy boots for a couple hundred people who she knew could use them more than she could.
She planned on giving one pair of boots to every student at her school.
"When I walked into school on Friday morning [after the game show win], I was greeted with hugs and thank you[s] from nearly the entire student body," Dredge told Upworthy. "The smiles on their faces were worth more than any money I had won!"
"I've always thought that if you have warm, dry feet then the rest of you is warm, which is the best condition to be in for learning."
The show's host, Eddie McGuire, actually played an important role in Dredge's win, as he'd encouraged her to "have another think" after she answered incorrectly on the final question.
"I couldn't help but get swept up in it," he told Confidential of Dredge's generous spirit and his decision to let her guess again.
"Good quality leather school shoes were the obvious 'good fit' gift as the weather here ... in winter is bitterly cold and wet," Dredge explained. "I've always thought that if you have warm, dry feet then the rest of you is warm, which is the best condition to be in for learning."
But before Dredge could hit up the mall and make the purchase, a generous shoe company decided to help her achieve her goal and let her keep her prize money.
Inspired by Dredge's generosity, Steve Gunn — the CEO of shoe wear company Blundstone Australia — announced on the radio that his company would be donating 210 pairs of boots to her students.
Needless to say, Dredge was floored: "I am so incredibly grateful for, and overwhelmed by, his generous offer."
The students had their feet measured and will get their pairs during a school assembly on Aug. 3, 2015.
They're all "very excited," according to Dredge.
She told Upworthy that — now that the shoes have been generously donated by Blundstone — she's thinking of a different way she can use her prize winnings to give back to her school and community.
Dredge's generosity perfectly exemplifies how one act of kindness can have a big ripple effect.
After all, here's how it went:
- Dredge decided to give back to her students, should she win the prize.
- The show's host was touched by her decision and nudged her in the right direction. And she won!
- A CEO was inspired by Dredge's generosity and decided to donate the shoes to her students, so now Dredge can do something else entirely for the good of her community with her prize winnings.
And who knows how many of these 200+ students will be inspired to do some good because of Dredge's act?
If you ever need proof that kindness is contagious, here it is.