Demopolite pursues happiness

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Sufiy Davis was watching an episode of Oprah when she had an epiphany. In the Playing It Forward episode she was watching Oprah was giving $1,000 gift cards to each of her guests with the stipulation that they spend the money on a complete stranger within a week. Davis was struck by the generosity and human kindness exhibited in the gesture and began examining herself.

That is when the Columbus, Ohio, resident, who claims Demopolis as her hometown, had an idea how to show such a level of humanity to others. She had just finished reading &8220;In Pursuit of Happiness,&8221; a true story of how a man went from being homeless with the weight of feeding his young son on his shoulders to earning a coveted internship with a broker firm on Wall Street that would lead to a six-figure job.

Davis said she had $50 set aside for the project, but as she began telling others about her idea they began donating money to the idea. She was even able to get money to provide copies of the book for the shelter.

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Davis said she sent e-mails about the project to Oprah when she started and later when the project picked up pace. Oprah became interested and flew to Columbus to shoot for her show that appeared last Friday. Davis said her biggest reward with the project didn’t come from Oprah, but rather the response the movie elicited from the residents of the shelter.

Davis said the homeless individuals who viewed the movie told her it was an inspiration &045; doubly so as it was a true story. She said she was not prepared from some of the emotional responses it elicited.

Davis said the movie has had such a positive response with the members of the shelter that when the movie comes out on DVD she plans to purchase a copy that can be kept there for those receiving shelter to watch.