Good Deeds

From Internet Pledges To Tipping Big: How People Are Using Their Stimulus Checks For Good

If you're looking for a way to help during the pandemic, this could be it!

Twenty years from now, I wonder how we'll look back on the coronavirus pandemic.

While it's true that Covid-19 has killed hundreds of thousands and has caused extreme economic devastation, there have also been some incredible stories of kindness that have come out of the crisis.

From companies giving away 10,000 sandwiches to feed hungry people, to a young man making balloon art to honor frontline workers, stories of charitable acts both large and small have been dominating our news feeds for weeks—and making for some great Sparkt stories!

We've published tons of great stories during the Covid-19 crisis - it just goes to show that there are always people looking to help!

Another name to add to the growing list of helpers is Kent Chambers.

Chambers is a teacher in Madison, AL who used the $1,200 stimulus check he received from the federal government to pay utility bills for three of his students.

Chambers has taught at Bob Jones High School since 1986, and he says he wanted to help a few of his students he knows are struggling.

"I'm actually in better shape because I'm not having to pay for gas to drive to work and I'm still getting paid the exact same amount," Chambers told CNN. "There's no need for me to take the money and splurge and do something reckless with the money. Let's help somebody that really needs it."

Kent Chambers and his wife have contributed money from their stimulus checks to help others. Kent Chambers

Along with the money for his students, Chambers donated $600 to the burn care center at Shriners Hospital for Children in Cincinnati, OH. They helped his niece after she was injured in a house fire.

Chambers isn't the only one using his stimulus funds to give back during the crisis.

Cleveland resident Rebecca Maurer gave money to the Northeast Ohio Coalition for Homeless and University Settlement to help provide food and other resources to homeless families.

"Just hearing people's stories, it was very apparent to me that I was in a very lucky position and that I shouldn't be treating the check as a windfall, but really as an opportunity to give back to my community."

Maurer also started the Cleveland Stimulus Pledge, where she encourages others to donate some or all of their stimulus money. While Maurer isn't collecting or distributing any of the funds that people have pledged to give, she shared a list of local and national organizations on the site that could use the support.

Since Maurer launched the CSP website on April 8th, generous Clevelanders have pledged to donate almost $60,000.

Another couple in Arkansas recently donated their entire $1,200 stimulus check to the wait staff at a local steakhouse.

The restaurant had to lay off more than half of their staff when they switched to only doing take-out and local delivery orders in March.

"We just started crying and thanking God because it came at a time that most of our staff really needed it," Allison Hall, the general manager of the Colonial Steakhouse, told KFOR-TV."Things have been barely getting by, but we are making it."

Restaurant manager Allison Hall says the generous tip came at the perfect time for her staff. KFOR-TV

The donation allowed every worker at the restaurant, even the ones who were furloughed, to get $100.

There are plenty of other stories out there of people giving away all of part of their stimulus checks to help those in need. Hopefully, the trend will continue and even more folks will contribute what they can during the crisis. We can only get through this together, so we might as well chip in where (and when) we can!

How can you start something good?

Inspired by the donors' generous acts of kindness?

While you may not be able to donate your entire stimulus check, perhaps you can give a portion of the funds to those who need it most.

You can give to your favorite charity or organization—or check out this handy online guide for ideas on how to best help those affected with a donation.

Let's #StartSomethingGood together!

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