Did You Get Money You Don’t Need From the Feds? Here Are Some Ideas of Where to Donate It.

Those of you who have been following the weekly updates on how I’m doing, and how my city (New York City) is doing with the coronavirus, will know that I am in a pretty stable situation professionally. As a result, I didn’t need the federal government to give me $1,200…yet I was given it anyway since many of us are receiving somewhere between $1,200 and $4,700.

If you are a person struggling to make ends meet, you need not feel guilty about using the money to help yourself financially. In fact, you’re the kind of person who was envisioned as benefiting the most from receiving the money.

However, if you are like me in that you don’t need the money, I strongly recommend that you give away the money in ways that help those less fortunate (because there are so many people less fortunate than you, in that case). However, you may be struggling to figure out how best to use the money you received to help others. In today’s post, I offer some suggestions of the types of places where you can donate your money, in no particular order:

  • Food banks: Right now, food banks are the way that many people are surviving during these times. However, food banks need financial resources as well as donations of canned and dry goods, and that’s where your donations can come in.
  • Services that deliver food to seniors and/or those with underlying health conditions: There are a lot of people who need food but can’t easily go out to get it because they fall into a population that is at risk for suffering a severe case of the coronavirus (seniors and those with underlying health conditions). That is where a service that delivers food to people can be so vital. I will likely donate some of my $1,200 to one such service.
  • Anything that helps our health care workers: I’m leaving this open-ended because there are so many ways to help our health care workers. The public hospital system in New York is accepting donations that will help support the day-to-day needs of their workers,[1] but the needs for hospital workers in New York may be different than what they are in another part of the United States.
  • Anything to support local small businesses: Many nonessential small business staff have been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus. As a result, some small businesses have started up crowdfunding campaigns to help their employees, some patrons of these businesses have looked to buy gift cards (in order to keep some sort of cash flow coming into the businesses), and some patrons of local restaurants have stepped up their support by ordering in or taking out with frequency. Regardless of the method of support, using your money to support your favorite local small businesses is money well spent.
  • Services that give support to those most vulnerable to physical, mental, and/or emotional harm during the coronavirus: This is a time when there is an elevated risk of domestic violence. This is also a time when some people in the LGBTQ+ community may be struggling while living with family who are highly rejecting of their identity. It is also a time when many people already struggling with their mental health may be struggling even more so. You may want to consider donating to an organization that helps provide support and/or services to a group of the population particularly vulnerable to harm during the coronavirus, such as one of the groups mentioned before.
  • Organizations that will help fight the spread of the coronavirus in places where health care infrastructure is poor: Okay, so for a developed country, the United States does not have a good health care infrastructure. However, this virus is poised to hit parts of the world that have health care infrastructure even worse than that of the United States. Therefore, an organization such as Doctors Without Borders, an organization that will help fight the spread of this virus in parts of the world where health care infrastructure is poor, is money well-spent.

Of course, this list, while somewhat extensive (I hope), is not comprehensive. With that in mind, if anyone here has other suggestions of types of places (or specific organizations) we should give our money to, please feel free to comment below! Hopefully, this list will provide the most fortunate among us an opportunity to think about where to donate, and might also make my readers going through hard times think about how they can best be helped during these times.

This is a “Blindly Just” post.

[1] https://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/donate/

33 Replies to “Did You Get Money You Don’t Need From the Feds? Here Are Some Ideas of Where to Donate It.”

  1. Thank YOU so much for this post, Brendan!!! Like you, we did not need our “stimulus check”, did not ask for it, and would much rather it had gone to those who truly did need it. We donated ours, half to the local homeless shelter and half to the local food bank. Thank you for giving us other options, as well! I was so thoroughly disgusted when I read of one man and his wife who spent theirs on a $2,000 gun that I was spitting bullets! I shall re-blog this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing my post! Food banks and homeless shelters are definitely among the categories of places that need a lot of help right now (so it sounds like it was money well-donated by your family), though there are definitely other categories of people who need to be helped during this time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was a great post! I was so disgusted to read what some people who obviously didn’t need their checks were doing with them, like the guy who purchased a $2,000 automatic rifle. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Meanwhile, people are starving and living on the streets! Yes, my friend, there are so many who need so much right now, and we have so little to give. It galls me that those who have much to give, don’t.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks! If you don’t need the money, why keep it to yourself? Guns seem like an unwise way to spend that stimulus check…you aren’t going to defeat a virus with bullets.


  2. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    Blogging friend Brendan from my old stomping ground of New York City, has written a post with some ideas for those who have received stimulus checks from our bankrupt government that they do not need. Please, people, if you don’t need your $1,200, give it to someone who does! Thank you, Brendan … great work! 👍👍

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You should think about donating what you say you’re going to an LGBT organization. People during this time really need a connection who does not get it at home. Los Angeles LGBT Center is one of the largest LGBT centers in America. One example is the center started an LGBT charter school. They do so much more. They even do things you like and are passionate about. That is Senior Services.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for sharing Joe. Entities providing services to the LGBTQ+ community are definitely among the entities that people should donate to at this time. I’m particularly concerned about LGBTQ+ people living under the roof of a highly rejecting household.


  4. Another good group would be grouphomes for people with physical/mental differences. Not being American I don’t know what kinds of services you have, but I know in Canada these grouphomes get barely enough to live on, and the stall working there are usually paid minimum wages even though they are front line essential workers.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. I have to admit that I don’t know enough about the landscape of services at grouphones for the developmentally disabled, so I can’t speak as to what sort of help such grouphones might need during the pandemic.

      That being said, if any of my readers DO know what the landscape is like with grouphomes, and whether such places need help during the pandemic, please feel free to reply to this comment!


  5. It is very generous of you to donate this money, Brendan. South Africa is facing huge social unrest and potential starvation due to loss of jobs caused by the Coronavirus lockdown. The government is paying out some money to unemployed people but there are millions of them so it is very difficult. Paying out benefits is very administratively intensive.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The United States gives unemployment benefits (albeit not for infinite periods of time) to those who are unemployed. Usually you get payments for the first certain number of weeks after being unemployed, but I know that not every place has that sort of support. Instead, the government in the U.S. is giving $1200+ to every taxpayer. Which means that some taxpayers who don’t need the money, such as me, are getting the money.

      It just goes to show how different the support systems and other systems are in different places.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Taxpayers in the U.S. who receive this amount can apply for unemployment insurance if they are recently unemployed. Of course, there are so many people filing for unemployment insurance at the same time that the unemployment benefits system is completely overwhelmed. There’ve been stories on it, and here’s one such story from my home state, New York: https://gothamist.com/news/nys-overwhelmed-unemployment-benefits-system-leaked-personal-information

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Writing from the UK.
    Naturally many of Trump’s folk will grasp it to spend on themselves and make a big fuss about doing so, praising him.
    If there’s another way to divide the USA in a time of crisis Trump will be at the bottom of it.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Great suggestions, I am on the board of our local community farm and we donate fresh food to the local food pantry and have had people use their funds to purchase a CSA share for the food pantry. Thanks for thinking of others this is how we will get through this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely. Even under the best circumstances, many “creatives” (the term that is often used for writers, artists, etc) don’t get paid a lot.

      On that note, if you have a KoFi, GoFundMe, or other page you have for yourself, don’t hesitate to drop a link below!


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