The very first person voted off Survivor, breast cancer survivor and lesbian Sonja Christopher, donated the $2,500 she received for her three days on the show to her church. More than seven years later, that initial donation helped her church raise $1 million to build a fellowship hall.
Sonja intended to “win big and give the money to her church to build a new hall,” the AP reports, but after being voted off with such little prize money, still made good on her plans, giving it to the Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church.
Its reverend, Diane Miller, tells the AP, “It was the generosity of it. It wasn’t waiting until we had some big giant gift. That’s really what’s so unusual.” One church member, Joan Redding, said that Sonja’s gift “touched my heart very deeply that she would do that. It really was our seed money.”