Posted January 6, 20211:51 pm
Stimulus checks arriving in bank accounts are a lifeline to Americans financially struggling with the effects of the coronavirus. But those whose personal finances have not taken a hit might want to donate to charities bearing the brunt of the pandemic.
If you don’t need the stimulus money and you want to give where you can do the most good, experts recommend donating to nonprofit organizations or, if you want to spend, ordering take-out from locally-owned restaurants or buying from small stores.
The Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund has been working since March to send money to small nonprofits on the frontlines in Northeast Ohio, said Dale Anglin, program director for Youth, Health & Human Services for the Cleveland Foundation.
“We completely understand at our foundation that everyone is hurting from this both health and economic pandemic,” says Anglin. “The most impacted -- that’s people of color, low income, seniors, homeless populations, people that need the safety net normally and especially during a time like this.”
Elise Gould, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington D.C., understands that plenty of people feeling the economic weight from the pandemic. Gould says stimulating the economy is definitely always important, but spending must be done safely.
“There’s plenty of people hurting. You could be donating some of that money to people to don’t have enough to put food on their plates,” says Gould. ”We want to stimulate the economy, but we want to keep people safe, so I think it’s really important we keep that second part in mind, and people are going to spend their money, let’s have it be things that don’t require in-person risk.”
Hunger Network CEO Julie M. Johnson says many supporters have already generously donated.
“The pandemic brought extraordinary challenges, but our Cleveland community came together and did what we do best — feed our people,” Johnson said. “Our heartfelt gratitude goes to each and every individual who chooses to support our mission during this crisis,” says Johnson.
Augie Napoli, President & CEO for the United Way of Greater Cleveland, says there have already been people expressing interest in donating their stimulus checks.
“We know there are people who received stimulus checks as part of the second coronavirus relief package with an expressed interest in giving the money to those less fortunate than themselves,” Napoli said. “For those who feel the funds can best be utilized by the children and families who are struggling during the ongoing pandemic, they can support local area nonprofits whose work is essential to helping those who remain in the deepest need across our community.”
Napoli says the need for support, including shelter, utility, and food assistance has never been greater.
Here are additional nonprofit organizations that you can donate to:
MedWish International, headquartered in Cleveland, collects and provides local health institutions with personal protective equipment and ventilators.
Providence House is a crisis nursery committed to child abuse prevention and family preservation based in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood.
Domestic violence experts, like Cleveland’s Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center, fear a spike in abuse while people shelter at home
The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland can help people facing eviction.
The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless works to provide emergency housing for some of the most vulnerable people during the pandemic.
Organizations like the Hunger Network and the Children’s Hunger Alliance are dedicated to feeding families in need. The Greater Cleveland Food Bank has been stretched for many months.
The Senior Transportation Connection provides coordinated, efficient, and affordable transportation to seniors and adults with disabilities throughout Cuyahoga County.
The Centers for Families and Children provides access to healthcare, job training, and educational services for thousands of Northeast Ohio families each year.