Church in running to give away $5,000

What would you do if someone handed you a check for $5,000 and told you to give it all away? A local church hopes to be put in that scenario within the next week, when financial guru Dave Ramsey announces three winners of his online "Great Giving Challenge."

Hilton Head Island Seventh-day Adventist Church Pastor Jason Belyeu entered his congregation in the contest with the intention of helping people here in the Lowcountry. Belyeu actually won $10,000 for his other church -- Beaufort Seventh-day Adventist Church -- in a Ramsey contest a few months ago.

The contest requires winners to give away $1,000 a day for five days to a different cause each day. Contestants must create a video explaining what five things they plan to do with the $5,000. The public can vote for their favorites online once a day until Monday.

As of Thursday, the video was the second-most-popular entry with 934 votes.

Belyeu's congregation plans to do the following if they win:

  • Provide a 24-hour break for three full-time caregivers of elderly or disabled people by hiring someone to care for their loved ones for a day
  • Help a local woman with a terminal illness by paying some of her bills
  • Offer $1,000 worth of free oil changes to single parents, low-income elderly people and anyone who has been unemployed for at least three months
  • Pay for house cleaning services for hotel maids
  • Provide Dave Ramsey's high school finance curriculum to a local school
  • Belyeu is looking for people to receive these services if his church wins. E-mail with suggestions.

    "You see an opportunity to help people, and you want to take it," Belyeu said. "This just provides an extremely rare and unique form of outreach for us. ... This helps a small church do some big things."