Opportunities to Give

Congress recently passed the unprecedented CARES Act, a $2 trillion stimulus package aimed at helping the American economy and its most vulnerable businesses, small businesses and individuals recover from the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Included in the stimulus package is a direct payment of $1,200 to millions of individuals, with an additional $500 for each child. For many Americans, this direct cash payment is a lifeline of support to help keep afloat during a time when many are losing their jobs, having trouble paying rent or are unable to keep food on the table.

There are, however, many Americans who received these funds who are not as negatively affected financially by the coronavirus pandemic. Many are able to work from home or have continued to work in both essential and nonessential capacities and now find themselves with some extra money and a wonderful opportunity to help out those who have been less fortunate.

For those who are philanthropically motivated, there are ways to use the stimulus check to make a difference. There are local food banks as well as funds for restaurant workers, health care employees and other vulnerable populations who could immediately benefit from even a small donation. There’s even a trending hashtag on social media where people can share their stimulus check donation story.

For example, Cameron Crockett chose to give directly by offering his check via Facebook to anyone who was struggling and randomly drew a person’s name to donate to. Or there’s the anonymous “regular” who left a $1,200 tip at a Pine Bluff, Arkansas, steakhouse. There’s also the more traditional route of donating directly to the many organizations who are on the frontlines of COVID-19 relief or making an additional gift to a favorite charity.

If donating your entire check seems daunting, don’t forget you can also help in smaller yet equally effective ways. You can buy gift certificates at local restaurants or hair salons or any other service you would normally use to support your favorite local businesses during this difficult time.

Thankfully, there are as many organizations whose mission it is to help as there are ways to help out, and many individuals have embraced this opportunity to contribute when so many are facing such great uncertainty.

Unsurprisingly, the philanthropic spirit and the willingness to help others is alive and well among Americans.
 
By Grant Miller, Sharpe Group Editor
 

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