Stimulus checks should hit in the next few weeks, and if you’re like us you’re still working and getting paid normally, a stimulus check is nice and all, but what are you gonna do with it? Personally, I’d like to head on down to Southern California for a few days of sand and sun in San Diego, but… well that’s not in the cards right now. So sure, you can save it for a rainy day, even buy some cheap-ass airline tickets for future flights, if you’re gutsy enough. Or you can do some good with it. What’s that? You’re gonna buy a baby Tiger? Yeah, that checks out.
Here’s the first thing I’m gonna do, find some local food banks in Atlanta to help, like Atlanta Community Food Bank. Then a couple of homeless shelters, like HOPE Atlanta. Money is what they need right now, y’all. There is no volunteering happening, but it might be good to keep that in the back of your mind for the future. Volunteering is always needed. Cash is king now though. And with your unexpected influx of cash, it would be nice to do something nice for others. Even if it’s just $100 of your $1400 or whatever it is you are getting.
I’m going to help my community first, then I’m going to log onto Kiva and donate some money there. If you don’t know what Kiva is, sit back and let me spin you a yarn. For Christmas last year friends sent us a Kiva gift card. We had heard of Kiva before, but never invested, because honestly it seemed like a lot of work and I’m lazy. But when a gift card came our way, we were like okay, let’s do this!
Turns out it’s super simple and necessary, and it was a really engaging way for us to sit together, look through profiles (which is the hardest part for us), then decide who to lend to. So Kiva.org allows people who can spare money (like $25) to lend to others who don’t have it, but have a very specific need. Usually your $25 goes a very long way to the people on Kiva. Our first $25 went to a group of women in Uganda who sell smoked fish as their primary means of supporting their families. They were requesting a loan of $675 or 2,400,000 Ugandan shillings. Essentially they are getting a loan from a local bank, and the people who fund their account are backing the loan. There are loan terms and limits like a real loan, and we are on a repayment schedule with the group.
The second loan we gave out, also in the amount of $25, was to Adelaida in Moldova. She was was requesting a $2,900 loan to rebuild part of her house after a landslide. Here is a snapshot of what you see on Kiva.org:
She’s already paying back. So is the other group, in fact we have made $5.00 back on our loans so far, in just a few months. Which will sit until we earn $25 back, then we will reinvest in other groups. But I’ll be using some stimulus money to aid other people as well. And yes, there are people in the US who are on kiva.org. Like Jennifer, who is looking for $3,000 to help pay rent for her business, get permits, and pay fees. So if you are one of those people who are all, “I only HELP PEOPLE IN THE U S of A…” You’re an asshole, and also there you go. Help Jennifer with your stimulus check.
The point here is to inform you of a way to help people, because there is so much need out there, in our country and every, single, other one, that when we band together, like you can do on Kiva, it helps a little. This is one of those places where a little can go a long way if you truly want to help and see change.
So there you have it. Kiva.org if you are in a giving spirit this Stimulus Check season. Otherwise, I think you can search Craigslist for codewords and find you a baby Tiger. Best of luck.
PS… Some links to sites that are taking monetary donations in our country right now. And websites to connect you with local programs in your community.
National Council on Aging – Helping struggling, older adults pay for food, medicine, heat, and other daily expenses.
Feeding America – Can help you locate a local food bank based on zip code.
Women’s Shelters – Can help you locate local shelters for women and children to either donate to, or if you are in need of assistance. This is important right now, as there has been an uptick in domestic abuse cases since stay-at-home orders were put into place.
ASPCA – Many animal shelters are looking for help right now. A simple Google search will connect you with those closest to you, but if you want to help in general, may I suggest donating to the ASPCA.
Planned Parenthood is busier than ever, and could always use your support.