In the last month, 22 million people have filed for unemployment. That staggering number is in addition to those who were already struggling to make ends meet prior to COVID-19. Families aren’t able to make rent, single moms aren’t sure where their next meal will come from, and food banks and shelters are overwhelmed.
For many families, the government stimulus check will barely cover a month of needs.
Economic poverty is met with relational scarcity as people are quarantined and isolated, unable to reach out to friends and neighbors for help and comfort.
It’s tempting to be overcome by grief and hopelessness, but in the midst of the struggle, we’ve seen inspiring stories of giving and unprecedented movements of kindness and love.
While you might not be able to volunteer at a soup kitchen or spend time with a struggling neighbor, there are so many creative ways to help those in need. If you’re lucky enough to have maintained your income during this crisis, consider joining Share the Stimulus and pledging to share a portion of your stimulus check with those who need it the most.
For some, $1,200 might be a welcomed addition to a savings account, but for others, this extra sum could mean another month of safe shelter or food to feed hungry children. By choosing to share your stimulus check, you’ll magnify the impact and increase the value of that $1,200.
Not sure where to give? Here are 5 unique ways to use your stimulus check to help others:
1. Buy gift cards to local restaurants and gift them to those in need
COVID-19 has had a particularly large impact on local businesses, especially restaurants that have needed to shut their doors or reduce their services. Buying gift cards to donate is a great way to help out your favorite local spots while also blessing those around you who aren’t sure where their next meal will be coming from. Whether it’s a family who’s lost income during this time or a single mom with no time to cook, gift cards are a great way to give back into the local economy and bless individuals in your community.
2. Buy groceries for a neighbor in need
For individuals who have lost income due to COVID-19, being gifted a month of groceries will ease a burden they thought they would never bear. If you’re able, opt for shopping locally at small grocers and markets or coffee shops and cafes who have pivoted to sell essential items.
3. Cover a neighbor’s rent for a month
For most people, the $1200 stimulus check will barely cover a month of rent. It’s likely there are families and individuals in your own neighborhood who aren’t sure how they’ll make next month’s payment. If you’re in a place of financial security right now and know of someone who’s struggling, consider donating your stimulus check to help them cover their rent payment. Not sure who to give to but want to make a difference in this way? Check out New Story Charity and the work they’re doing to help cover rent for families across America.
4. Donate to a local rescue mission or food bank
For most Americans, even many who have seen a loss of income, quarantine has meant more time at home and a lot more Netflix. However, for individuals facing homelessness during COVID-19, it’s meant struggle on top of struggle. With shelters being maxed out, food shortages at food banks, and public spaces being closed, the homeless population and the organizations they are served by are in need of extra help during this time.
Consider donating a portion of your stimulus check to a local rescue mission or if you aren’t sure where to start, give to one of these major missions that are fighting against the impact of COVID-19:
5. Provide summer meals to children facing hunger
Millions of children across America face hunger on a daily basis and due to COVID-19, kids who rely on school lunches are going without. With summer around the corner, these kids are facing a long stint without access to the food they need. If you’re interested in using your stimulus check to fill this need, check out No Kid Hungry’s Summer Lunch Program, which is helping ensure hungry children are fed while school’s out.