Kim Bergin and her husband Joe have faced some of the most difficult times of their lives in the past year. They've struggled with job loss, family illness and mounting debt that wasn't diminishing.
"When you wake up and you have these bills and you're working and working and working and you still have these bills that aren't going away," Kim said.
But several months ago, the couple got a call from a casting company working on a new reality show for CBS called The Briefcase. Here's a synopsis of the program from the show's producers:
THE BRIEFCASE is a new reality series featuring hard-working American families experiencing financial setbacks who are presented with a briefcase containing a large sum of money and a potentially life-altering decision: they can keep all of the money for themselves, or give all or part of it to another family. Each week, two families have 72 hours to learn details about each other's challenging circumstances before making the weighty decision of what to do with the $101,000. However, what they don't know is that the family with whom they are considering sharing this financial windfall received an identical briefcase with the same instructions. Throughout their journeys, relationships within both families will be tested and beliefs questioned as they find out what really matters most in their lives, and how much importance they place on values such as love, generosity, compassion and faith.
Back in Matthews, the Bergin family struggled with whether or not they wanted to put their deeply private problems on display for all the world to see. "In the end we just decided we needed the money so we said yes," Kim said.
Bergin isn't allowed to discuss the outcome of the show or what they decided to do with their briefcase full of money, but tears flow even now when she talks about the show.
"I still cry when I think about it. I mean I'm 43 years old and - light bulb, the greatest things in life aren't things," Kim said of what she and her family took away from the show.
MATTHEWS, NC (WBTV) - The family will have a viewing party Wednesday night to watch the premiere of the show. The Briefcase will air on CBS at 8 p.m.