Oprah surprised audience members this week with $1,000 debit cards in a “Pay It Forward” challenge in lieu of her “Favorite Things” show. She instructed them to spend the money on the charity of their choice.

In past seasons, Oprah has given away her favorite hand-picked products, including a Maytag (Charts) washer and dryer, a diamond watch by Philip Stein and fudge brownies.

This week,  Oprah taped the results of the “Pay it Forward” challenge and explained her decision to bag “Favorite Things.”

“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,” Oprah said. “That’s the feeling I want to pass on to you.”

 Oprah hopes her audience members will give to others. All 300 of them were also given a Sony (Charts) DVD Handycam to record their charitable activities.

“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,” she said. “Imagine the love and kindness you can spread with $1,000.”

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