Since the United States government began issuing stimulus checks to Americans this week, a group of volunteers from North Carolina has rallied thousands of people in stable financial positions to donate part of their stimulus checks to help people affected by COVID-19.
Within the first week of the Pledge My Check website being launched, over $18,000 was pledged from 37 people across 11 states.
This number is now up to $70,000 pledged from 129 people across 15 states. Individuals are encouraged to donate directly to the people, causes, or organizations they support because Pledge My Check is not accepting donations directly—so 100% of everyone’s pledges reach their intended recipient.
Similar efforts have launched across the United States supporting a variety of causes. Currently, Pledge My Check reports that the largest sum of their pledges is being directed to local causes, primarily addressing food insecurity through Feeding America’s network of food banks and their affiliated food pantries across the country. However, many people are simply donating directly to waiters, neighbors, and community members.
“The idea is to encourage folks to pledge in a way that is life-giving to them and others,” said Jordan Bowman, who leads a local nonprofit organization. “There is complete freedom in how people pledge, but we are encouraging them to consider local causes and to be creative in how they can use this money to support their neighbors, nonprofits, and small businesses.”
One woman named Kirsten who donated $1,200 said: “My husband and I decided to donate 50% of our total checks. We’ve made monthly gifts to several organizations. These are: Heifer International, UNICEF, The Arts, and Science Center of South East Arkansas, Doctors Without Borders.”
Other highlighted organizations include: Meals on Wheels, DonorsChoose.org, and GiveDirectly. Organizations can create their own custom pledge pages to encourage their volunteers and donors to pledge their stimulus checks to their organizations for free.
This initiative is the work of a growing volunteer team based out of Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. “This project is all about bringing out the best in our communities,” commented project co-creator, Ryan O’Donnell. “When the stimulus checks were announced, I felt this was a simple way for people to help their neighbors.”
Lead project designer, Bethany Faulkner, added: “I’m fortunate to be in a stable financial situation. I wanted to help, and this stimulus check is an opportunity to redirect that vital financial support to those who need it most in our community.
“We built this tool to enable that and make it a community effort, even as we’re separated in our own homes,” she concluded.
This is just one of many positive stories and updates that are coming out of the COVID-19 news coverage this week. For more uplifting coverage on the outbreaks, click here.
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