OKC woman's story of giving earns Australia trip from Oprah

Oklahoma City residents Charan Rose and Blake Overstreet were in "The Oprah Winfrey Show" audience when Winfrey surprised everyone with free trips to Australia.
BY HEATHER WARLICK-MOORE Modified: September 15, 2010 at 5:12 am •  Published: September 15, 2010

"They shred them so you can't use them," Rose said.

She and her friend took the coats and mended them with trendy-looking patches and donated them to the coat drive.

"I started noticing things that were around Dumpsters or in Dumpsters," she said.

"I don't consider myself a Dumpster-diver at all. But now, I'm keenly aware of things that are thrown out that can be reused."

Rose's life took a new direction.

One day, while searching for boxes behind a furniture store, she said she found a perfectly good mattress the store had thrown away.

"I tied it on top of my Camry and took it to the battered women's shelter," she said, referring to the Oklahoma City YWCA Women's Shelter. "And the way they act, you'd think you'd given them Neiman's unlimited gift cards when you donate something over there."

But that's not why she did it. Her sister was once a victim of domestic violence.

Rose had no idea that she had been chosen as one of Winfrey's "Ultimate Viewers" until she was in the Chicago studio with her son.

She said she hopes to give her trip to her son's girlfriend, Sami Daraby. The couple's four-year anniversary falls within the 10-day trip. According to the rules of the trip, winners can't pay to have additional people come along, so Rose would have to forfeit her own trip to send Daraby.

"My son, his dream all of his life was to go to Australia," she said. "And get this: It's always been Sami's dream to go to Australia, too, since she was a child. I've heard them talk about it a hundred times. And for Oprah to pick Sydney, Australia ... there are no accidents."

Plus, if she were to go, Rose said she'd wind up spending $1,000 to board her three cats, two dogs and two foster dogs.

Being disabled after having broken her back several years ago, that amounts to a month's disability. She had to have a garage sale to pay for her trip to Chicago for the Oprah show.

"I can't do much. I have no money. But I feel like, 'You know what? If you can do anything, it will come back to you tenfold,'" Rose said. She's a stained glass artist and often uses some of the money she makes from her pieces to buy items for the women at the shelter.

When asked how people can help her do the work she does for others, Rose said simply, "Tell them to donate to the YWCA. They need it."