When Kate Gosselin gave birth to sextuplets in 2004, she and then-husband Jon were worried about making ends meet.
The newborns - Alexis, Hannah, Collin, Aaden, Leah and Joel - joined twins Mady and Cara, who were born four years prior.
Kate was working as a nurse at the time, and John was unemployed. In her 2010 book, I Just Want You To Know, Kate recalled making headlines, since at the time, multiple births was still a novelty.
According to excerpts from Radar Online, Kate recalled the kindness of strangers pooling together money so that the Gosselins could buy a van large enough to fit their entire family.
"That bus was the difference between going nowhere and going anywhere we wanted," Kate wrote.
After the May 2004 birth of the sextuplets, NBC selected the Gosselins as part of a renovation project for their reality show, Home Delivery. The result was a house that was more conducive to raising eight children.
Just over a year later, Discovery featured the family on a special, Surviving Sextuplets and Twins, and then a year later as a follow-up.
All of a sudden, she and her family were getting things for free.
"In addition to covering a dinner out, the production company offered to cover our bill when he filmed at Sam's Club, and they purchased snow boots for the children when we picked out a Christmas tree."
Forgive me for pointing out the obvious, but feeding eight mouths costs a lot of money, so these handouts were more of a blessing to the Gosselins than a perk, which Kate acknowledged.
The specials were so popular that the family was offered their own reality show, Jon and Kate Plus Eight, which premiered in April 2007.
The donations kept coming.
"Groceries came exactly when we needed them, we had a 'shoe angel' who got us through numerous seasons by providing eight pairs of shoes, we received clothing and even Christmas presents from viewers of our show," Kate wrote.
"Everything was always taken care of."
What some might find controversial is the free tummy tuck Kate accepted from a plastic surgeon.
Before we start stomping our feet and saying it's far too frivolous for Kate to have cosmetic surgery, let's not forget that her body delivered eight children.
"I was standing in my bedroom when I heard the news, and I screamed at the top of my lungs," Kate wrote of learning that she was getting a tummy tuck.
"I would say a dream come true, but I hadn't even dared to have that dream."
Kate admitted that while the fame could at times be unbearable (especially her 2009 divorce from Jon, which was all over the headlines), she had to remind herself to be grateful for what her family has received, even calling herself a "spoiled brat."
If the show had aired now, it's unlikely that the Gosselins would have enjoyed as much fortune as they had nine years ago.