ALISO VIEJO, Calif. (AP) -- By any measure, Lisa Panzica was struggling.
After fleeing an abusive relationship and a home-invasion robbery, she lived day to day to make ends meet -- to pay rent, provide food for her children, attend college night classes.
Across town, Terry Zwick had few worries, living in a comfortable, spacious home in one of Orange County's most affluent communities.
Their lives intersected after Zwick was given money by her pastor and told to do a good deed.
"It seems like such a simple act. But it's having a ripple effect," Zwick said. "People are ... paying it forward. We helped Lisa, and she helped her family."
Zwick was one of 100 people selected from the Coast Hills Community Church by the Rev. Denny Bellesi to participate in a living biblical lesson.
"I wanted to teach this principle of stewardship," Bellesi said. "I wanted to leave an impression they would never forget."
In November, the pastor gave out $100 bills -- a total of $10,000 from his church's general funds -- with the instruction that recipients go forward and do good. He was partly inspired by the recent movie "Pay It Forward," about a child's efforts to change the world with good deeds.
"I told them it had to be invested outside the church. It had to be glorifying to God and it had to be benefiting to others," he said.
What began with 100 people has since involved hundreds of people. Their actions include small acts of kindness -- such as helping a family get on their feet -- to the large -- funding construction of a church in Asia.
In Zwick's case, she was introduced to Panzica by a friend who had met the 33-year-old single mother while taking community college classes. Panzica told Zwick about her struggles.
A week later, Zwick and two friends showed up with $700 in gift certificates for clothing and food and a $1,100 check to cover the January rent.
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