WYANDOTTE, Mich. (FOX 2) - A popular cable TV personality is returning the favor for a metro Detroit woman.
Ann Rudisill is a veteran who's also dedicated her life to helping others who have served our country. She founded the organization Downriver for Veterans two years ago.
"I've got a homeless veteran right now who's living in a dugout and I have nowhere to put him," she told us. "I just wish to God I could put an imaginary flag on top of every veteran's house so I would know where they are." Her nonprofit is run out of a small storefront in Wyandotte. They deliver food to local vets, run PTSD classes, and give these folks somewhere to turn.
The cause gained the attention of Mike Rowe, the former host of Dirty Jobs. He created a web-based show called "Returning the Favor" -- and Ann's work is the focus of the Season 3 premiere.
"I look down and I went, 'God, that guy looks like Mike Rowe,'" Rudisill said. "And then I thought, 'Are you real?' and at first I poked his face and then I think I poked his chest."
It was Mike Rowe at her doorstep. She had no idea his crew was there to completely transform her supply warehouse.
"I'm a little old lady in a little town, why here? The whole United Stated, there are so many people out there doing so many good things. Why here? And he said, 'Because we hear you'e doing great things.'"
She showed Rowe around her town, without a clue about the renovation. Then came the big reveal:Rowe presented Ann with with a $30,000 check.
"The most down to Earth caring, passionate person I have ever met in my life. I just, I wanted to marry him but I'm too old," she laughed.
The money is already going to work in her community.
"My goal is a shelter. I want a transitional shelter," she said.
The episode aired last week and already has nearly 5 and a half million views. The best part , Ann said, is people around the country are contacting her wanting to start their own version of Downriver for Veterans.
"That means that every single veteran that comes home, or every veteran that needs to eat or needs help, will now have somewhere to go," she said.
Returning the Favor is a show that only airs online. You can watch the episode here. (One tip, though: have a box of tissues nearby.)