Some people in this world are unbelievably selfless. Even though their circumstances are often tough, they are always willing to help others and set aside their own needs. Often, these selfless and compassionate people happen to be single moms who do whatever it takes to give their families unrelenting support.
Cara Simmons is this type of person. She’s a single mother who loves her family more than words can describe and she works indescribably hard to provide for them. Cara, who works as a maid, one day received a special work assignment. What she didn’t know was she would also get the surprise of her life.
Cara Is a Hard Working Woman
As a single mother, Cara works long hours to provide for herself and her three children. Her kids are everything to her and she works hard to give them all that they need. Even though things aren’t always easy, Cara knows no bounds when it comes to making sure her family is provided for.
When emphasizing Cara’s generosity and perseverance, her sister said, “She would give you the shirt off her back.” And in addition to providing her kids with everything they need and more, Cara tries hard to imbue them with a solid work ethic.
Loving Mother of Three Kiddos
Cara is the proud mother of three sweet children. Her daughters are close in age and they have a little brother who is the baby of the family. Between her job, housework, and taking care of her kids, Cara has her hands full every day. But taking care of her children is a labor of love, and they mean the world to her.
Because she’s so busy and selfless, Cara rarely takes a minute for herself. But her effort and hard work don’t go unnoticed. Her children that their mom is a real trooper and they deeply everything she does for them.
All the Pressure Catches up to Cara
Cara was working so hard that her body began to take a hit. She would come home feeling exhausted, but for Cara, a break was not an option. No matter how tired she felt, she always woke up the next day and went back to work.
Unfortunately, the busy days and lack of relaxation caught up with her and caused stomach ulcers for which she needed medical attention. Soon, the health bills piled up and it became increasingly hard for Cara to make her rent payments. And of course, the cycle continued: she needed to work harder, and she had even less time for R&R.
It Seemed Like a Normal Day at Work
The day of Cara’s life-changing surprise started off uneventful. The company for which Cara worked, Maid-Brite, gave her her daily assignment and sent her on her way. This was how her job went: she arrived at work, and they assigned her a house to clean.
Her employer emphasized that the client whose house would be cleaning at that day was very prestigious. So Cara was determined to give it her best and work extra hard. She had no clue that the biggest surprise of her life would be waiting for her there.
Things Seemed a Little Strange
To her surprise and confusion, Cara arrived at the house only to find it completely clean, in pristine condition. She didn’t understand why she was needed there. After all, she had been told that this house would require extra work.
After arriving and finding the house had already been cleaned, she was puzzled. But then the client introduced herself and told Cara that there would be a party there at night, so there was lots to do. Then all seemed normal and Cara waited to hear her daily tasks.
The Bizzare Tasks Keep Coming
When she got oriented – but before she lifted a finger to do any work – the client whisked Cara away to the kitchen where food was being prepared by executive chef Manny Slomovits. He’s a high scale culinary genius. “I mostly work on yachts.” So you get the type of exquisite clientele he usually cooks for!
Then things seemed to fall into place. Cara assumed her task would now be to help with the food prep. She rolled her sleeves up and got ready to start chopping and doing dishes. Then, Manny unexpectedly informed her that all she had to do was taste the food he had prepared. No dishes, no chopping.
The 5-Star Feast
Cara couldn’t believe it. Never before had one of her tasks been to gorge on chef-prepared, superb food. She assumed that she would be washing dishes. And now she was being asked to eat a delicious eight-course meal. Still, she went with the flow and didn’t ask too many questions.
The meal was lobster, quail eggs, white truffles (which cost a couple of thousand dollars per pound!), shrimp, and steak. The meal was the pinnacle of luxury. Manny insisted that she try everything there was. She was really surprised that tasting the food would be one of her tasks. But little did she know, the surprises were only starting.
It Didn’t Take Too Much Convincing for Cara to Accept a Massage
After the over-the-top meal, the strangest (but amazing) workday just came getting weirder. She left the dining room, and upon entering the living room, she came across a pair of masseuses. They explained that were hired to give people massages at the party.
They asked Cara if they could practice by giving her a massage. They told her that they needed to start warming up their hands (never mind that this is multiple hours before the party starts). Cara was puzzled, but she happily accepted the offer and the masseuses got to work.
The Pampering Hands Work Their Magic
Cara positioned herself on the massage table and the masseuses started to work their magic. Then the party planner came in and reassured Cara that this was a normal request and she should just relax and enjoy herself.
The party planner explained that offering massages were a really important part of the party. With the reassurances of the party planner and with the pampering hands of the masseuses, Cara relaxed. The built-up tension in her body was finally getting taken care of.
Rolling up Her Sleeves
When the massage was over, the client asked Cara to follow her upstairs to a master bedroom. Cara came into the room and saw a huge pile of clothes spread out on the bed. At this point, Cara said to herself “Ok, the fun’s over, now it’s time to get to work surely.”
The client told Cara that she would need to sort the clothes. At that moment Cara’s thoughts were confirmed. She once again prepared to take on the task. That seemed like a completely normal task that needed doing before guests started to arrive at the party.
Things Continue to Be Puzzling
There were coats, pants, shoes, boots, sweaters, and more. And she noticed that they were really, really nice. There was also some fine jewelry sitting on the night stand beside the bed.
The client told Cara that all the clothes on the bed needed to be thrown out and that she could choose whatever she wanted and take it home. Cara’s puzzlement grew into bewilderment because all the clothes on the bed looked brand new, and not to mention made by high-end designer brands.
What a Coincidence!
Cara thought it was really strange that the owner was throwing away all these perfectly good clothes, but she was happy to give them a good home. And then, when she started trying them on, she realized that they were a perfect fit, they happened to be her exact size!
Still, she didn’t think anything weird was going on, she just assumed that the client was the same size as her. While trying on the clothes, she reflected on her day so far. It was perfect. Amazing meal, decadent massage, some nice clothes; she had never experienced a workday like this before.
A Very Strange Delivery
Basically, what she thought would be a clothing sorting task turned out to be a shopping spree, but Cara wasn’t complaining of course. After that, she figured that now, no doubt, the work would finally start. And then she was given her next task: she needed to receive some delivered boxes and sort the contents inside.
By this point, things were already strange. How could this be a work day? All that was happening so far was a major pampering. But what happened next was too weird to overlook. When Cara opened the boxes, what she saw inside made no sense at all to her.
Things Just Don’t Make Sense
When Cara opened the boxes she saw that instead of being filled with party supplies, they were full of her stuff. She found her clothes, some photos, and various other items from her own home. At this point, she was clearly confused, big time.
She started to ask the delivery man for answers, but he responded by saying, “It says here these items are for the woman who lives here in this house – Ms. Simmons.” She sank further and further into an ocean of confusion. She was convinced there some kind of mixup.
Let’s Clear Stuff Up
As Cara protested and said there was a mistake, the delivery man kept insisting that there wasn’t. He reiterated that there was no mixup, and that the house where the items were delivered to belonged to Mrs. Simmons.
After a little bit of back and forth the man said that if Cara followed him outside to his delivery truck, then things would be clearer. Puzzled, Cara followed the man outside to his truck.
The Truth Is Starting to Reveal Itself
They reached the delivery truck and the man opened the cargo door. To Cara’s total astonishment, her sister, her niece, and her three kids were waiting inside! She couldn’t believe it. They immediately jumped out and everyone hugged.
Then, the light bulbs starting turning on. She started to think that maybe the amazing day she had so far was not a fluke. Maybe the perfectly fitting clothes weren’t a coincidence, and perhaps the delivered boxes weren’t a mixup. Then, the delivery man revealed who he really was. His name is Greg Bensen, an actor, and he’s the host of a show called Prank It Forward.
The Big Revelation
Greg explained the premise of the show. “We do good things for people who deserve some goodness.” Prank It Forward targets people who have it hard and need a pleasant surprise. Greg then revealed that Cara’s entire day was meticulously planned, and the point was to prevent her from lifting a finger for any work task.
The masterminds behind the organization of this amazing day are Cara’s sister and Cara’s employer. Everything was planned so that Cara could have a completely relaxing day in lieu of her usually-busy workday. There were hidden cameras all over the house (over 20 of them) to capture Cara’s reactions. Still, the boxes with Cara’s belongings had no explanation.
The Big Revelation Continues
The questions were starting to get answered. Now, the clothes, the food, the massage made were beginning to make sense. Still, Cara had no explanation for her own items being delivered to her. Then, Greg revealed that there was another surprise. And this time it wasn’t just for Cara – it was for her entire family.
Greg revealed that Prank It Forward had purchased and renovated the home in which Cara had spent her day. Now, they were giving it to Cara, making her a homeowner. Cara and her family were in disbelief.
The Surprises Keep Getting Crazier
When Cara and her family got the news that they were getting a house, they couldn’t believe it. Cara was on the verge of tears and in utter shock. Not only had the show given Cara a day off and spoiled her the whole time, but they bought her a new home!
At this moment, Cara’s life was upended for the better. Now she owned a beautiful home and her days of struggling to pay rent and make ends meet were over. The whole ordeal left her speechless and in tears of joy. The family, overwhelmed with excitement and happiness, then took a tour of their new beautiful home.
A Well-Deserved and Much-Need Vacation
Already, the life changing surprise of getting a house, Cara was stunned. But the surprises just kept coming. Greg has learned that Cara never took time off to go on vacation. Also, he was informed by Cara’s family that one her biggest dreams was to travel, and she had not yet had the chance to do so.
So Greg informed Cara that in addition to everything they had already done for her, they would be sending her and her sister on a vacation to Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Finally, they would get to travel and relax together and spend some much-needed quality with each other. Her disbelief and appreciation began to mount.
Cara has always been extremely hard-working. But even though life hasn’t always been easy, Cara’s an upbeat, loving, and compassionate mother. She never complained or threw up her hands. You’d be hard press to find someone more determined to be a good mother and hard worker.
Now, with all these unexpected surprises, Cara was finally starting to feel that her hard work and dedication to her family was paying off. Cara, her family, her employer Mary Jo, and the participants in the “prank” stepped outside for a toast to celebrate the joyous occasion.
When they came out onto the patio, there were another couple of surprises. In one corner of the deck, there was a fully stocked, beautiful tiki bar. And in another corner, there was a pretty set of outdoor furniture, perfect for a family of four.
Cara and her family had a hard time coming to terms with the level of generosity that Prank It Forward showed them. Getting a house was a major game changer for the Simmons family. And it wasn’t empty, it was fully equipped with appliances and beautiful furniture.
Cara Never Saw It Coming
Not only did the patio come with a stocked tiki bar and a full set of nice furniture, but it also came with a brand new barbecue! So the appliances that the house came with are above and beyond the basics, everything is top-notch. There will be some major grilling going on.
The surprises were a complete success. At first Cara didn’t suspect anything. Then, as the pleasant little surprises kept coming, she started to be a little puzzled. But only when she saw her family come out of the truck did she realize that something was off. Prank It Forward are obviously professionals, so they were able to put it off perfectly.
A Team Effort
Everything took a lot of coordination by the Prank It Forward team. They had to bring in a real chef, real masseuses, a delivery truck, and some actors. And of course, everything had to be timed perfectly.
In addition to the timing and the huge coordinated effort that needed to go into the “prank,” everyone needed to put on their acting faces. So even the masseuses, for example, who are not actors, needed to be able to keep straight faces in order to not reveal anything.
Some Serious Poker Faces
The “client” was actually one of the primary organizers of the whole thing. Her name is Madeleine. She miraculously managed to keep her poker face the whole time, so her skills are certainly impressive.
She had one of the hardest jobs in the whole project because she was the primary point of contact. She was there to greet Cara and she was the one to take her through the different rooms and explain the “tasks.” There were so many chances to blow it, but she kept her cool.
Crew, to Your Battle Stations!
While the Madeleine (who was playing the role of the homeowner and party hostess) was showing Cara around, the rest of the crew was hidden away, manning their stations and getting ready to launch the surprise.
The crew managed to use some of the house as its headquarters; they occupied the garage and one of the bedrooms. But Madeleine was careful to not lead her Cara into those parts. Meanwhile, the Prank It Forward team sat in secret just hoping their cover wouldn’t get blown.
A Man With a Tasty Plan
Manny, the chef, had worked extra hard to prepare the beautiful and succulent eight-course meal that Cara had the pleasure of eating. As mentioned, he’s a very high-end chef. Most of clients are filthy rich, so he has lots of experience cooking with fancy and costly ingredients.
When it comes to cooking luxury gourmet meals, it’s not only the taste that requires effort, it’s also the presentation. Manny painstakingly takes the time to draw a blueprint for every single meal. The detailed drawings show the layout of each plate. And based on these blueprints, he makes the magic happen.
The Best of the Best
Manny only selects the best of the best of the best for the meals he prepares. With regards to the expensive truffles we mentioned earlier (that can go for thousands of dollars for a pound!) Manny says, “they’re worth every penny!”
The cut of meat he prepared is also top notch. It’s called A5 filet mignon. It’s one of the most high-quality steaks on the market. So as you see, no expenses were barred in making Cara’s day as special as can be. About the meat, Manny explained, “It’s so tender, you could cut it with a spoon!”
The Critical Moment
One of the most uncertain moments of the whole event was when Greg brought Cara the boxes filled with her own stuff. It was a moment of truth. How would she react? The team really hoped that she wouldn’t get creeped out and end of freaking out.
During the planning, there were quite a few “what if” scenarios. In the end, though, at the critical moment, Cara’s reaction was exactly what they were hoping for: complete confusion. As her family waited in the moving truck, they could barely contain themselves. They too were excited and eager to see the pleasant surprise play out.
On the technical side, things were pretty intricate. The garage was made into a mission control center. It was equipped with computers, microphones, and other high-tech equipment required to pull off this awesome “prank.”
As Cara came and went to the different pampering stations (massage, delicious meal, etc.) the Prank It Forward team was sealed away in the control room watching the action unfold.
Cameras Capture All the Feelings
In order to capture the whole thing, the team installed over 20 hidden cameras all throughout the house. Every time Cara was led into a different room, the crew was waiting in the garage at the mission control and monitoring her reaction.
Everything was perfect. At each stage of the surprise, you can see the range of emotions coming through on Cara’s face. Joy, surprise, confusion – it’s all there. As the action was unfolding, the team sitting behind the screens in the mission control room could not stop smiling.
When the surprises were revealed, Cara’s family and the team got together on the porch for a toast. Now everything was out in the open, so Cara and the team could tell each other about the experience, which was definitely unique.
Cara expressed her gratitude to all of the different people involved. She had some questions for them. She wondered exactly how they did it. They revealed to her that the whole house was rigged with cameras and they went over the planning of the operations.
One Last Surprise
So, Cara was treated like an empress, given a house, and then told she was also getting a paid vacation to Mexico. But there was one more surprise waiting for her. She found out that she was going to be on The Queen Latifah Show. Usually, Queen Latifah invites celebrities to the show.
But she also features some segments that include touching inspirational stories. When Queen Latifah came across Cara’s story, she felt it was important to use her huge platform to share this extraordinary act of kindness. And she decided to take part in getting this story out to the world.
Queen Latifah Gets the Word Out
The first thing on the agenda was to talk about Prank It Forward and the show’s mission to help good people that might be struggling. The whole point of the show is to make deserving people feel good. Queen Latifah was so impressed with the kindness.
After discussing the premise of the show, they got into more detail about Cara’s special day. Queen Latifah also brought in Cara’s employer, Mary Jo. They talked about how Mary Jo and Cara’s sister linked up and got ahold of the show.
Cara Takes Center Stage
This was Cara’s first appearance on T.V. She took the stage with confidence and didn’t seem to be at all bothered by the bright lights or huge audience. She recounted the whole Prank It Forward experience and went over all the crazy surprises she got.
She said, “I just thought nobody is going to believe what’s going on today.” Queen Latifah was clearly fascinated by the story. She interviewed Cara and got all of her questions answered. By the look on Cara’s face, it was clear she was having a great time being on the show.
Everyone Had a Great Time
Everyone had a great time on The Queen Latifah Show. Cara answered all the questions charmingly. And it was clear the Cara and Queen Latifah had a lot of friendly chemistry. They cracked jokes and reflected on Cara’s experience.
Step by step, she went through the surprises. With regard to the massage, she talked about the “handsome young men.” She also went through her emotional timeline. She mentioned how overwhelmed and confused she was throughout the day. We don’t blame her! We wouldn’t know what hit us if we were in her shoes.
Cara’s Sister and Employer Made It Happen
Cara had been working for Mary Jo at Maid-Brite for a long time. She was always hardworking and diligent. Mary Jo saw how hard Cara worked and she was well-aware that Cara’s life was not so easy. Being a single mom, paying rent, and taking care of three kids is very demanding, and it didn’t go unnoticed.
Mary Jo started thinking about what she could do for Cara which would be exceptionally nice. Simultaneously, Cara’s sister had also been feeling a little sorry for Cara and was thinking of organizing something great. Mary Jo and Cara’s sister eventually linked up and they made it happen.
It’s Been a Long Time Since Cara Had Time Off
Most people don’t have the wherewithal to keep going every day, never being selfish, and giving everything to your family. It’s hard to find people with such a good work ethic and such solid family values. While on the show, Queen Latifah asked Cara, “When’s the last time you had a vacation?”
Cara admitted that it had been over six years since she last really took a break from work. With rising medical bills, four mouths to feed, and rent to pay, there wasn’t much time to relax. In fact, the last time she really took time off was when her son was born and she went on maternity leave. She had never been on a real vacation that required serious travel.
A Word From Mary Jo
When Cara and Mary Jo came on The Queen Latifah Show, Mary Jo took the time to explain to Cara’s work ethic to the world. She stressed how much Cara deserved the day off and, not to mention, the brand new house. Interestingly, the house was even a total surprise for Mary Jo!
Mary Jo also noted how important it was to her to make the surprise happen. She said, “She’s a phenomenal single mom, and I see her provide [for her family].” She thought it was about time someone took care of Cara for a change.
Kindness Leads to More Kindness
Queen Latifah gave a special thanks to Mary Jo for taking notice of Cara’s hardships and for playing a huge part in making the whole series of surprises happen. She said to her, “We wanted to pay back your kindness, for being so kind as to nominate Cara for this.”
Then, Queen Latifah had a surprise of her own. She told Mary Jo that she too would be gifted with a trip to Mexico. The gesture brought Mary Jo to tears. This really proves that acts of kindness in turn get repaid by kindness and appreciation.
Closing Words and a Warm Message
Queen Latifah then concluded the interview with a few touching words to the audience. She knows that Cara’s story is a moving one and she wanted to use the opportunity to send a message of kindness, positivity, and optimism out to the world.
She urged the audience to always try to reach out and make changes aimed at improving someone’s life. We’re all in this together and a little bit of kindness goes a long way. Queen Latifah hopes that Cara’s story shows a great example of what kindness can do, and that it will inspire people to be nice and give back.
A New Beginning for the Happy Family
After all is said and done, Cara is today a proud homeowner. Also, her story caught the attention of people from all over the globe. She is a viral sensation! As her heartwarming story unfolded, millions of people around the world tuned in.
Cara and her three children, Cierra-Mia, Kiarah, and St. Gavin are all moved into their new beautiful home in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. The Prank It Forward team didn’t overlook anything – the house is located in the same school district as the family lived before, so the kids didn’t need to change schools. As she was moving in, Cara said, “I think my family will just create awesome memories in this house.”
More Projects for Prank It Forward
Prank It Forward got together a new team of pranksters. This time, they enlisted Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth (some of the cast of The Hunger Games to play a whole new prank.
This time, in collaboration with a young patient suffering from muscular dystrophy, they pranked YouTube stars Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox, who make up the super popular series Smosh. When Ian (blue shirt) thought he would be doing his first interview ever, featuring Lawrence, the team gave Lawrence an earpiece and directed her into making it seem like the interview was a major fail. It’s hilarious, check it out!
Pranks Dedicated to Making People Smile
Prank It Forward is not your typical prank show. It’s all about making people feel good who deserve it. You can check out the rest of their episodes on YouTube. Greg Bensen is a professional actor, and after many years of doing a variety of projects, he decided he wanted to dedicate his energy to warming people’s hearts and improving their lives.
They do all sorts of amazing things. In a different episode, they surprised homeless people with tasty food, a haircut, a complete makeover, and some other little niceties. In another, they surprised a young marine who comes from a broken home with a visit with her little brothers whom she hadn’t seen in six years. In the end, they surprised her further by informing her that she would get custody of them.