Patricia Lofton (left) and Oprah Winfrey
02/20/2014 at 07:00 AM EST
For 25 years, Oprah Winfrey
gave away everything from iPads to automobiles to her studio audience. Though her talk show has ended, her generosity hasn't. And this time, it hits close to home.
Winfrey, 60, has been quietly aiding her younger half-sister Patricia Lofton, paying for her education and, according to multiple reports, even buying her a new $490,000 house in Wisconsin.
It's all to help Lofton, who is nine years younger than Winfrey, reach one of her lifetime goals. "Patricia's greatest dream was to go to college and become a social worker," says Winfrey's spokesperson. "Oprah wants to support that dream."
Three years ago, Winfrey shocked everyone
when she introduced her newly found half-sister on her talk show, calling it "one of the greatest surprises of my life." The women have the same mother, Vernita Lee.
Since then, the two have been connecting, with Winfrey revealing last year on an episode of Oprah's Next Chapter
on OWN: "I think she's been just a remarkable human being."
It's clear Winfrey is happy to have Lofton in her life. "That was a new experience for me," she said on OWN, "to be in a relationship with somebody who actually didn't want anything but was just there to be supportive of me. So, it's been really great. Really great."