After one woman saved Chicago's homeless from the cold, an army of strangers followed her lead

Richard Vargas of The Salvation Army checks on Blanca Rodriguez on Thursday, January 31, as life-threatening cold grips Chicago.

(CNN)A single act of generosity was multiplied again and again this week after a Good Samaritan paid for hotel rooms to shelter homeless Chicagoans from a historic and potentially deadly cold snap.

Donations of transportation, food and money flooded in after strangers learned that real estate developer Candice Payne had booked 20 hotel rooms at the Amber Inn motel.
"I had strangers from social media who are now lifelong friends helping me," she told CNN.