Elba woman surprises Wiregrass residents with over $500 in donations from Venmo Challenge


ELBA, Ala. (WDHN) — For many people, social media has been filled with sad, bad, and dreary news. Rising COVID-19 numbers, police brutality, and riots have filled our news feeds for months.

It is for that reason that one Elba woman decided to do something to bring joy to her friends’ timelines. It is also how three, almost four, people received hundreds of dollars from complete strangers.

The Venmo Challenge encourages people to gather donations that will then be given to an unsuspecting person.

“I asked if you can just donate a quarter or fifty cents, it’s super appreciated,” said Wiregrass resident Alyssa Hall. “I didn’t think it would build up like it did but I knew that we would get a little something to share with somebody and sure enough that’s how it worked.”

$2,152. That’s how much money Alyssa and her followers raised. In 24 hours.

“I thought I’d probably get two to three hundred dollars at the most and that’s a big blessing for just one person,” Hall said. “That was the original plan, but then when I hit over a thousand, I thought ‘well this is easily two people’ and then when it was two thousand, I was like ‘I’ve got to ask all the people who are donating what they want me to do with it’.”

Blessings for four people. That’s what Alyssa’s followers decided. But the decision of who to give the money to was left up to divine intervention.

“I can’t explain it other than I’m spiritual and the Lord told me don’t look for these people,” Hall said. “Just let it be and let it happen.”

Alyssa’s videos have reached hundreds of people. However, they also serve another purpose.

“I don’t want them to think ‘oh Alyssa just took that $200 and maybe she gave it away or maybe she kept it’,” Hall said. “I’m videoing mainly to show my followers and my friends and my family that hey y’all look this is who is went to and this is how they responded.”

At the end of the day, Alyssa said she has one hope for other Wiregrass residents.

“If I can raise two thousand dollars through my friends and family, I know other people can too,” Hall said. “I’m the lucky person that gets to deliver the money, it’s not about me it’s about everyone else that donated but I got to feel it and I want other people to feel that way too.”

There is one more person left to receive Alyssa and her followers’ donations. She says she has a feeling she will find that person is the next few days.

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