This Cleaner Turned Up To Work As Normal, But Then An Insane Gift Left Her Overcome With Emotion

It’s November 2014 and housekeeper Cara Simmons has a seemingly normal work day ahead of her. Simmons has been sent to a large home to carry out her shift as a maid. However, not everything is as it first appears. Soon Simmons will be handed an incredible gift that will change her life forever.

As a professional housekeeper, Simmons had been entrusted to carry out certain jobs around this four-bedroom home in. For example, in some instances she’d have to clean the furniture using tools such as a mini-vacuum cleaner. In addition to this, she might need to wipe down walls during her shift as well, adding to her already considerable workload.

However, while Simmons was a particularly hard worker, her life outwith the job was increasingly challenging. Indeed, the housekeeper had been dealing with some persistent health problems, which made matters all the more difficult. Despite those challenges, though, she continued to plough on with her work right up to that fateful day in November of 2014.

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As we mentioned earlier, Simmons turned up at this large house ready to begin her shift. However, it quickly became apparent that this would not be a standard day at work, as hidden cameras were placed all around the property. And ultimately, she would receive a stunning surprise.

However, before we delve into the details of that heartwarming moment, let’s take a closer look at Simmons’ personal life. A resident of Cleveland, Ohio, she was the mother of three kids; Kiarah, Cierra-Mia and St. Gavin. As the sole provider for her family, Simmons had worked for several different employers in order to make ends meet.

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One of those jobs was with Maid Brite, a business that specialized in cleaning properties around Ohio. The firm was established in 1988 by founder and owner Mary Jo Dean. According to the company’s website, it employs up to 20 full and part-time staff, including Simmons and her sister Glori Nicholson.

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Unfortunately for Simmons, though, her life was made a lot harder due to some personal issues. To explain more, Mary Jo Dean took part in an on-camera interview that shed some light on her employee’s struggles. As it turned out, Cara Simmons had rather more to worry about than just her work with Maid Brite.

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As Dean tells the video, “[Cara] gives her all to her work and her family. [But she’s] struggled in the past few years with health concerns and financial concerns. [She’s] always trying to make ends meet.” Simmons had been dealing with bouts of exhaustion, as well as ulcerative colitis.

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Simmons offered some insight into how tough that was during an interview with Break.com in November 2014. She admitted, “[Ulcerative colitis is] extremely painful, and I was battling that and there were times when I had to be out of work without any income. I faced eviction a few times.”

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“[But] I’m blessed to have people in my life to pull me through and hold my hand,” Simmons continued. “It was tough. My kids stayed with other people because I couldn’t get up and get them to school.” To make matters worse, Simmons’ had to cope with the ailment going undiagnosed until she finally got the help she needed at the MetroHealth medical facility.

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So with the problem finally under control, Simmons found herself outside a large house in Cleveland Heights in November 2014. On that day, Dean informed the mother-of-three that she’d be helping out a “very important client.” However, Simmons was subsequently greeted at the door by a woman named Madeline Blue, who had a confession to make.

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“It’s just so funny, because I’ve cleaned already,” Blue tells a surprised Simmons. “But I’m so glad you’re here. We’re throwing a huge party for my boss tonight, [so] there’s still a ton left to do.” As we mentioned before, all this was captured on hidden cameras, as the housekeeper’s loved ones looked on.

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In fact, Simmons had been selected to take part in a Prank It Forward video. While the name might misguide you initially, this series focused on tricking people with positive surprises. Speaking to the cameras beforehand, Nicholson explained why her sister deserved to be the latest recipient of a prank.

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Nicholson says, “Cara is an amazing person, an amazing sister. She’s selfless, she works hard. She’d give you the shirt off her back, really honestly. I just think it’s about time that someone shined a spotlight on her.” However, there were aspects of the prank that had been kept secret from Simmons’ family and friends.

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The video’s host Greg Benson teases that fact at the very start. He explains, “We’ve got a whole day of surprises in store for Cara. For once, this housekeeper will not have to lift a finger. And we’re going to top it all off with an incredible surprise gift that not even her loved ones are going to see coming.”

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So let’s rewind back to the moment when Simmons first entered the house. After Madeline Blue tells Simmons that she’s already cleaned the place herself, the pair head towards the kitchen. At this stage, it’s revealed that noted chef Manny Slomovits is preparing several dishes for the “party” later that evening.

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Blue goes on to outline Simmons’ opening task for the day. She says, “First up, I need you to taste-test and screen the meal that we’re preparing for later.” Simmons is then led into the dining room by Slomovits, completely unaware of the caliber of food that’s about to come her way.

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To begin with, Slomovits presents Simmons with a number of different lobster dishes, noting that the crustaceans have been flown in from South Africa and cost nearly $500. While undeniably bemused, the housekeeper still tucks into the food on the table. She’s clearly impressed with the chef’s work, but he reveals that there’s even more on the way.

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From here, Slomovits brings out several other dishes for Simmons to “test,” including an Italian white truffle. “This is about $4,000, for about a pound,” he tells the shocked mother. As she continues to enjoy the food, though, Blue then asks her to answer the door ahead of the next task.

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At this point, Simmons and Blue are greeted by two masseurs, who set up their equipment in the living room. One of the men says that they need to “warm up their hands” ahead of the party, so the Simmons is asked if she would like to receive a massage. She happily obliges to the request with an understandable look of surprise.

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The masseurs subsequently go to work on various parts of Simmons’ body, from her head to her shoulder blades. During the massage, the working mom also gives some insight into how she approaches cleaning. She admits, “It’s therapeutic. So when I’ve got things on my mind, I usually go home and clean up!”

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Eventually, Madeline Blue eventually interrupts the massage, as she has a new “task” for Simmons. The pair head upstairs to one of the bedrooms, where a selection of clothes, shoes and jewellery has been laid out. Simmons receives another surprise when she finds out what she’s now got to do.

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Blue says, “So I’ve got a bunch of clothes up here that I need to get rid of. But if you want something, set it aside for yourself for later. I mean, what else am I going to do? I’m gonna get rid of it, so try them on!” As it turns out, all of these outfits were bought for Simmons beforehand.

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Once Simmons tries everything on in the bedroom, Greg Benson initiates the next stage of the prank. A large truck pulls up outside the house, containing various boxes in the back. Blue asks her to unpack one of them, as the disguised host brings more items into the living room.

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It doesn’t take long for Simmons to realize that everything in the box belongs to her. When Benson comes in with another one, he claims that the truck had arrived at the correct address, leaving her bewildered. At this point, the host looks to clear up the confusion, as he leads the housekeeper outside.

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While Simmons waits on the porch with Blue, her kids jump out of the truck to surprise her. Benson then comes clean about her day at the house, confirming that she was part of Prank It Forward’s latest video. However, there was one final surprise in store for the group.

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Benson says, “Glo and Mary Jo decided that you needed a day off to just relax and have a great day. But what they don’t know, and what your family doesn’t know, is that this is actually your house now. We have renovated this house, we’ve rebuilt it and we’ve paid for it. These are your keys.”

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Simmons subsequently bursts into tears of pure joy, embracing her family on the porch. Benson then continues, “This is your home, you can stay here for your whole life. You can pass it down to your children, you can pass it down to your grandchildren. This house is for you.”

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Meanwhile, Benson caps everything off with an additional treat for both Simmons and Glori Nicholson. As everyone gathers in the yard to celebrate the big surprise, the host reveals that the sisters will be going on holiday. The video ends as they’re presented with tickets to Riviera Maya, Mexico.

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The original Prank It Forward clip was later uploaded to the Daily Mail’s YouTube channel in March 2018. It went on to draw a massive response online, earning over six million views. Alongside that, the video also picked up around 125,000 likes and generated in excess of 9,400 comments.

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On that note, let’s take a closer look at how the prank was put into motion. As it turned out, one of the production people behind Prank It Forward got in contact with Mary Jo Dean. The Maid Brite chief was then asked to help them select someone for the surprise. But she didn’t throw Simmons’ name forward right away.

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In fact, Dean gathered intel on everyone that worked for her during that period. To pull that off without suspicion, she claimed that the details they shared would be going on the business’ social media page. So once all the information was collected, the boss handed it all over to the producers.

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From there, Prank It Forward eventually zoned in on three potential candidates. Simmons was obviously one of them, but her sister made the cut as well. With that in mind, the trio were filmed for the final stage, believing that they were taking part in a video for Maid Brite.

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With all this extensive groundwork covered, Dean and the producers ultimately picked Simmons. However, as Benson alluded to earlier, the Maid Brite founder had no idea about the big surprise. She told Break.com, “I was in shock and stunned and crying. I was hoping [she’d be given] a car.”

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After the prank, Simmons and Dean appeared as guests on The Queen Latifah Show in November 2014. The single mom looked back on what transpired over the course of that memorable day. “I was just thinking, ‘Nobody is going to believe what is going on today,’” Simmons recalled.

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“I’m getting stuffed by a world-renowned chef [with] this awesome food that looks so amazing,” Simmons continued. “I’m getting a forehead massage by handsome men, and I’m trying to keep my composure because they’re so handsome and I’m at work! All the while I should be like, cleaning, but I’m not. I’m getting pampered.”

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Yet while the house was ready and waiting for Simmons after the video, she didn’t pack her bags immediately. Instead, the Cleveland resident decided to educate herself on certain aspects of homeownership with a man named Lou Tisler. He’s the executive director of the company that helped secure the property for Simmons.

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Tisler told Break.com, “We’re working with [Simmons] behind the scenes so it’s not just a splash, not just, ‘Look, we gave someone the keys to a house!’ We want to make sure she can actually afford it going forward. To know in Cleveland Heights, with the tax base, what it means to own a home with taxes and maintenance.”

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Simmons certainly appreciated the assistance, as she had no previous experience of owning a property. According to the working mom, it felt like an impossible ambition. However, as Simmons was making the final preparations for the big house move she became reflective.

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Speaking to Break.com, Simmons said, “I have always wanted to own a home, and I remember being young and having a home with my family. My parents got a divorce and it changed and we moved, but I remember the happiness there. I think my family will just create awesome memories in this house.”

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