The uniquely American divide between the haves and have-nots has perhaps never been as clear as it’s been throughout the still-in-progress COVID-19 pandemic.

This frustration is at the center of the widespread criticism of how the Trump administration has handled mishandled the rollout for stimulus payments, with many Americans being forced to watch well-to-do old white men argue about the amounts of these payments while often simultaneously presenting the wholly offensive theory that simply helping someone survive during a pandemic is somehow against a party’s supposed values.

A key part of the rollout fuckery, of course, is that not enough attention is being paid to first helping out those who need it the most. If someone was living paycheck-to-paycheck prior to the economic impact of the pandemic, then lost their job, they would have spent the bulk of last year in truly dire straits.

Thankfully, a number of Americans who feel they don’t necessarily need all (or some) of their respective stimulus payments have stepped up in a variety of ways to help those for whom the pandemic has been particularly difficult.

Jeff Suchon of New Jersey, for example, used his stimulus money to help buy masks for people experiencing homelessness and financial strain. Per a CNN report published Thursday, Suchon—using economic relief payments and some of his own income—has been able to buy more than 30,000 masks.

“I live on fumes after buying the masks, but I feel good about it,” Suchon said.

Meanwhile, retired artist Daryl Johnson and partner Erni Johnson, a retired teacher, first gave a third of their respective checks to the Yarmouth Food Pantry in Massachusetts. The rest of their money, per an interview the generous couple gave to the Cape Cod Times, will be donated to other nonprofit organizations. 

Matthew Pierce, a teacher at Milton Hershey School in Pennsylvania, used his stimulus checks to fund Uber Eats gift cards for several students and their families. Per Pierce, the cause is a personal one, as he remembers how it felt to be the one in need.

“We need to give back in times of need,” said Pierce, who’s now been featured in a CNN piece and in a special MHS post.

mhs
Image via Milton Hershey School

Sheldon Joseph, a credit union worker in Washington state, used his employer’s three-for-one match service when he gave away his economic relief payments to a local food bank and the Lavender Rights Project. The latter is a Tacoma-based organization that provides legal services and other needs for those in need within the LGBTQ community.

A Minnesota woman went the anonymous route, surprising the owners of three local Pine Island businesses with part of her stimulus money. Per KTTC, the unidentified woman donated to the owners of the On Trend Boutique, the Let’s Go Tacos restaurant, and the Betty Sue’s Better Brew Cafe diner.

If any of this has inspired you to make a similar move, do your research regarding local groups that could potentially use the extra donation. If you’re stumped, peep this guide from GoFundMe outlining a variety of ways to help out.

Also Watch

https://www.complex.com/life/2021/01/how-some-americans-have-spent-stimulus-money-helping-out-others

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