‘Returning the Favor’ Brings Much-Needed Attention to Little Miracles


By Hannah Keating, Arts Editor


A new series exclusive to Facebook Watch is bringing camera crews and media attention to individuals across the globe making a difference. “Returning the Favor” revolves around people who go above and beyond being a good neighbor and provide support to the communities that need it most. Host Mike Rowe, known for his book and subsequent podcast “The Way I Heard It,” guides the scripted show through meeting honorees in their hometowns, shining a light on the highs and lows of their work and rewarding their efforts with a surprise. 


Little Miracles 

This past week’s episode took “RTF” to the Salt Lake Valley to highlight the work on Tiani Shoemaker Clyde and her organization Little Miracles. “Little Miracles is a very personal organization, born out of the very real and personal experiences of myself and many other family members and friends that are or were single parents,” Clyde said. A single mom since 2005, Clyde was working in a real estate office in 2014 when the topic turned to humanitarian trips. She had seen the transformation in parents and kids alike who traveled to other countries to serve, but she recognized that the privilege of travel isn’t available to many families. Besides, there were people in her community that could use the support just as much. “There was something inside me in that moment that felt so strongly that we did not need to go to another country to have the kind of experience I was searching for. I wanted something that my friends could do too, and with their children,” Clyde said. 

This is the genesis of Little Miracles. “We started talking about what we would love as a single mom. An amazing day for us would be to go do something fun with our kids for an afternoon and just come home to a clean house and laundry. That really was the idea that launched this entire movement — it didn’t cost very much money, so we knew we could do it, and we knew it would be appreciated by any single parent,” Clyde said. Only weeks later with the support of others from the office, they filmed their first Little Miracles project and launched the organization. 

It was a surprise to hear Clyde talk about how many families feel undeserving of the outpouring of help. “Often times, people aren’t used to being the recipient of a service like this, so their natural reaction is to say, ‘There is someone else that needs this more than us.’ One of our favorite tag lines at Little Miracles is ‘It’s just your turn.’” 


Real Miracles 

The gratitude felt is evident in Little Miracles’ testimonials, especially when they enter the homes of families dealing with immense grief. Clyde tells one story that speaks to this phenomenon. 

“We once did a home makeover for a single mother whose teenage daughter, Bailee, had been dealing with cancer for several years. She knew her battle was nearing the end, and she basically reached out to us as her last wish in hopes that someone could help makeover her mother’s home. She desperately wanted to find someone to help take care of her mom, just as she had taken care of her all those years.”

“We partnered with another local charity to make this one happen and we planned an extensive project that would take place over the course of about six days. On the Tuesday leading up to the project, Bailee passed away. Obviously this created a sensitivity and emotion we had never experienced before on any of our other projects. So many real miracles came about that week that many of us will never forget, as we prepared and carried out this special ‘little miracle’ for such a deserving single mother,” Clyde said. 

With the broadcasting of their projects and the recent recognition through “Returning The Favor,” Little Miracles is growing. Since 2014, nearly 2,000 volunteers have served over 80 local families through Little Miracles Utah, putting in a total of almost 10,000 hours of work. And there are similar organizations cropping up across the nation, following the model set by the board of single parents and supporters in our community.

Clyde said, “It has been especially exciting to receive so many messages from people all over the country, that were inspired by the show and want to do something similar in their area. We’ve seen first hand now how this one little idea that started out with just a couple of people, with really zero experience, can turn into something amazing that will inspire way more people then we could have ever imagined.”

You can learn more about Little Miracles through the “Returning the Favor” series, where you can explore more stories of community leaders, or through their website.


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