Oprah Winfrey gives $1,000 debit cards to audience members to donate to charity or a stranger

Monday, October 30th 2006, 2:26 pm
By: News On 6

CHICAGO (AP) _ Oprah Winfrey has famously given members of her audience new cars, paid off their debts and fulfilled their wildest dreams. Now she's given them what she calls the ``gift of giving back.''

On a show that aired Monday, Winfrey gave more than 300 audience members $1,000 debit cards sponsored by the Bank of America to donate to a charitable cause.

Winfrey called the show her ``favorite giveaway ever.''

``I can honestly say that every gift I've ever given has brought at least as much happiness to me as it has to the person I've given it to,'' the 52-year-old talk-show host said. ``That's the feeling I want to pass on to you.''

People can give the entire sum to one person _ relatives aren't eligible _ or they can split it among charitable causes. Audience members also received a DVD recorder to tape their stories for a future show.

``You're going to open your hearts, you're going to be really creative, and you're going to spend it all at once on one stranger or spend a dollar on every person,'' Winfrey said. ``Imagine the love and kindness you can spread with $1,000.''