“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” -Coretta Scott King
Many people received federal stimulus money recently. A lot of people are desperate for this money. Folks have been furloughed, lost jobs, or waiting on unemployment funds to arrive. Some are behind on their rent/mortgage. Others need more money to purchase food for their families, pay child support, or utilities. It is a trying and stressful time for so many.
On the other hand, some people have received stimulus money that are in a more comfortable financial position than many. Maybe you got the stimulus money but have savings in place, haven’t had your income affected by the virus, or are in a position where you make more money than you did when you filed your last income tax return (which is what the stimulus is based off).
If this is you, maybe you have thought about investing the money in the stock market or buying some designer clothes? Yes, this is helping to “stimulate” our economy but I am urging you to consider ways to use your stimulus money to help those who are desperately struggling right now. If you donate all or just some of the money, I assure you it will make a difference in other’s lives.
How To Help:
- Donate money to organizations who are serving those in need. The amount of folks struggling with food shortage has surged astronomically in the last month. Consider donating money to a food bank (like the Atlanta Community Food Bank that has partnered with local schools to get food to families in need). People are losing their jobs and can’t pay rent. Consider donating money to a rent assistance program (St. Vincent de Paul provides rent support for people in Georgia).
- Purchase and donate goods to organizations. Shelf stable food is always needed but so is diapers, wipes, formula, and feminine hygiene supplies (pads are most requested at food banks). If you are in Atlanta, Toco Hills Community Alliance would love your donations!
- Support a local business without getting anything in return. Call a local restaurant and ask how to contribute to the tip jar for their employees. Or Venmo your hairstylist (who we all desperately miss) or send money to a nail salon owner. Yes, many of them have applied for small business loans/help but the process is long and slow and I promise they will be grateful for the financial support.
- Donate to a trade specific organization. In Atlanta, the Giving Kitchen is working hard to provide food and financial assistance for people who work in the hospitality industry.
- Support a neighbor or friend. Maybe someone in your neighborhood has lost their job or can’t work because they have contracted the virus. Reach out to them (privately) and ask how you can support them during this time.
- Donate and earmark money to “missions” at your church. Even though church buildings are not open, I assure you that many are still serving those in need, especially right now.
This is not a complete list… just a few ideas. I hope that we can all work together to support or be open to receiving support during this time. That is the America that I believe in and hope you do too.