Billy Coffey
Billy Coffey

The Ten Dollar Challenge Continues

December 4, 2009  

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I wonder sometimes of Christmas.

I wonder how a season filled with such joy can cause such despair. How hope can become hopelessness. How a holiday meant to bring us together can leave so many feeling alone.

I wonder sometimes of my blessings too, those things I too often take for granted and so cheapen. Not so during this season. Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. It is magic and faith and wonder. The stuff of dreams.

There are many who aren’t privy to such truth. Just the other day the local news carried the story of a man who robbed a Salvation Army kettle in front of a nearby Wal-Mart. According to the reporter at the scene, the man ran away with over six hundred dollars in donations and was heard screaming, “I hate Christmas!”

I wonder of him, too.

There are those who say that Christmas is for gifts and those who say it’s for The Gift. I suppose they’re both right. For Christians December 25 is a holy birthday party. Last year my kids even baked a cake with candles and a makeshift manger in the middle. (And when the first piece mysteriously disappeared, I said Jesus ate it. That won’t get me into trouble, will it?)

I like that notion of a birthday party, I really do. Christmas should be a celebration, a time when the good things of the world are brought to the forefront and the bad things are pushed to the side for later consideration. There should be lights and glitter and candles and cake. And there should be presents, too. Lots.

But how are you supposed to give Jesus a present?

I wonder that most of all.

But then I heard my friend Terri’s story of a stranger’s gift of ten dollars, and I had my answer. I knew that the love we have for God and the joy we feel for His blessings isn’t best expressed in song or prayer, but in deeds.

And what better way to give a gift to Him than in the same manner by which that first Christmas gift was given to us? Given to the undeserving with no fanfare and no expectation of return.

And that’s what the Ten Dollar Challenge is all about.

Katdish and Peter have worked their technological magic to provide both Simply Linked and a blog button for this little enterprise. Feel free to use both to share your story and spread the word. It’s dark out there, folks. Let’s shine some light, shall we?

If you’d like to add a Ten Dollar Challenge blog button to your blog, you get the code for it in the little box to the left.

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33 Responses to “The Ten Dollar Challenge Continues”

  1. cindy says:

    Billy, thanks for pushing this, it’s great… my $10 challenge won’t happen until Easter, if you don’t mind, but I promise these kids will knock your socks off! Once I blog it, I’ll let you know….

    as for getting some meaning into christmas… I like the birthday cake idea, but I wanted to kick that up a notch. ( i like to do this a lot) In my denomination we celebrate advent. We follow the Gospel leading up to the birth of Christ, marking the reading by lighting the subsequent candle each week…. 4 weeks in all.

    This year with my kids, they each chose a ‘shut in’ member, and we went to the store and found $40 worth of small ‘momentos’ that we will package weekly, and a few biweekly… with cards… drawing pictures… writing stories as we discuss the weeks particular look at the Gospel story.

    How do we give Jesus a present? If we truly believe God is with us…. We aren’t the only ones smiling and loving the joy this time of year! : )
    Thanks again!!!! Cindy

  2. Deb says:

    Growing up, we always sang happy birthday to Jesus when the Christmas pudding was lit up…love it. :)
    Love the $10 challenge, too… I am working on mine.

  3. Denise says:

    God bless your efforts.

  4. This is such a cool thing, Billy! I’ve really enjoyed reading the stories. What a great challenge around the holidays! I’ll be looking for my opportunity!


  5. Jill says:

    Billy – there is no gift greater than giving our hearts and lives to Jesus. There is NOTHING we need to give Him more than that. An obedient life is sufficient. :-)

    Next week I will begin to read the story of Jesus’ birth and then His death to the children – they too will bake a cake to celebrate the most important day in history – and we will sing Him love songs to worship our King!

    There is no greater name than the name of Jesus. No sweeter name I have ever known.

    I’m not sure I understand the $10 challenge. Can you email me a quick explanation :-)

    Blessings to you friend!

  6. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by billycoffey: New post! The ten dollar challenge continues ~

  7. This is beautiful, Billy! Helping our neighbors is a gift to Jesus!

  8. Jennifer says:

    Sweet. I”m on it. I’ll post mine in a couple days, God-willing. And I’ll add the blog button to my site today. I love your spirit! Thanks for encouraging us, spurring us on toward good deeds — another characteristic of those angels you speak of….

    Blessings to you ….

  9. HisFireFly says:

    I’m awaiting the Lord’s guidance as to time and place, but I’ve posted my intentions… in hopes of encouraging more to join us!

  10. *~Michelle~* says:

    Awesome! We do the birthday cake for Jesus too….I love it!

    I have done one $10 challenge the other day without even it dawning on me that $10 amount attached to it (it was a subscription to a magazine for a friend that I am sending anonymously). Anyway……I am planning on sharing this $10 Challenge and giving each of my four children their own $10 bill, (which is why it is spread over the next few weeks(LOL). It will be so interesting to see who and how they bless others given their age ranges, 7 through 18.

    …and I’ll be sure to share.

    Have a great weekend~

  11. Billy, I’m going to give each of my kids a ten dollar bill (if I can scrounge them up!) and we’ll all do the challenge together. Thanks for the great idea!

  12. […] This post was Twitted by makeadiff21 […]

  13. Bridget says:

    I added the button on my site so others can take the challenge!

    I love the birthday cake story (and I think Jesus will be okay with it) 😉

  14. Steven says:

    Unfortunately, I can not accept the challenge. My family is in need of more than $10 dollars.
    The capitalistic/consumer way of life taught me a lie and has put our family in such debt, that we are going to declare bankruptcy and will not able to give gifts this year.

    We had to use credit cards just to pay the bills, we are on the Oregon system of food stamps. My wife and I work for school districts, here a computer lab assistant, me a bus driver. We chose to have one of us a stay at home parent for many years, namely me, so our children would have a good start.

    This year, Christmas means something more to me than gifting money or things. It means the hope of a new world, a system not built on money or war profits. It is a world that is right here, and is about relationship with the earth and my fellow humans.

  15. Helen says:

    No wonder Baby Jesus ran away from your lawn! He was afraid he’d get blamed for something else!

    Oh yeah..ten dollar challenge is a good idea. I grabbed a button.

  16. L.T. Elliot says:

    I’m working up my own ten dollar challenge, Billy. I’ll be sure to let you know what I manage to do. =]

  17. Kat says:


    I joined you in the challenge and have it written about on my other blog called ARK for God, which is Acts of Random Kindness for God. It falls under the same guidelines as the $ 10.00 challenge and wanted to highlight your challenge on it and post the blog button there as well.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  18. cindy says:

    you know, Billy, can you e mail me about how you did this… how to prepare a button. i am not kidding about a challenge coming at Easter that will knock your socks off… I’d be interested to discuss the administration behind your challenge this season…. please? I am working with 7th graders on mine, and want to see them understand their own impact on the world.

    We teach each other other to give… i’ve decided that’s not enough. we need to inspire others to give as well… and you seem to have a good peg on that here. Cindy

  19. […] the challenge here and then visit his blog carnival to read other people’s experiences and get involved […]

  20. Dagmar says:

    Hi there Billy. I have to tell you I laught about the missing cake part….I’ll bet you’re not in trouble now but I believe God will make you bake a new cake for him when you arrive on the other side ;-)))).

    I’m pitching in here because Christmas gives me the feeling of giving every single time it comes around. And it’s not only with Chirstmas one should give but it’s that special time of year it makes me feel I can do magic.
    So Billy be blessed and count them too, every single day. Sweet hugs from this side of the world.

  21. […] The Ten Dollar Challenge 6 12 2009 […]

  22. S. Etole says:

    For various reasons, I will probably be pretty much housebound for the next few months so I didn’t think this would be real doable. Then I realized that if nothing else, I could help spread the word, so I posted your Challenge button on my sidebar today. And wouldn’t it be just like God to bring the challenge “here” since I can’t go “out there.” Thanks for what you do through word and action.

  23. rcubes says:

    $10 might sound little but you just never know what it would do, or a simple act of love and kindness would do to someone hurting. It’s time…to be His reflectors…Merry Christmas to you brother Billy. Thank you for this great challenge. God bless.

  24. Billy,

    I partook of the Ten Dollar Challenge and posted it on my blog. I also want to say “thank you” for your contribution to the word-beauty of Blogland.


  25. Wendy says:

    I’m in. Thanks for the inspiration. I think a lot of the thrill/joy will come in the searching for how to give.
    ~ Wendy

  26. […] the weeks leading up to Christmas, I took part in my blogger-friend Billy Coffey’s Ten Dollar Challenge. I set aside ten dollars and blessed someone with it—for no particular reason except that they […]

  27. […] to change the world. This past Christmas, for instance, one of our bloggers got an idea called the $10 Challenge. A friendly Managing Editor (aw, shucks : ) saw his post and asked one of our Content Editors to […]

  28. […] then, Billy has created a $10 Challenge Headquarters, where we can read stories of people who have done the same—set apart $10 to bless […]

  29. […] of you may remember, and may have even participated in, something called The Ten Dollar Challenge. It was the brain child of Billy Coffey. The idea was to share your blessings during the Christmas […]

  30. […] blog and spend time on Twitter and Facebook have a pay it forward kind of challenge from blogger Billy Coffey …to take The $10 Challenge…and that’s just the starting point! It’s up to […]

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