In the wake of COVID-19 many Americans will receive a stimulus check from the government in the coming months — if they haven’t already. Those making less than $75,000 per year will receive a one-time payment of $1,200 to help them during the pandemic but some qualifying citizens don’t necessarily need the money. Three friends Jeff Haanen, Dave Runyon and Jason Janz — quickly realized this and came up with SharetheStimulus.org –an initiative to help those who are more heavily impacted by the current pandemic. “We realized — as we were talking to other leaders — that there were a lot of people who got the check that didn’t need it as much as others,” stated Haanen.
SharetheStimulus.org exists as a campaign to encourage those who don’t need the stimulus money to donate a portion of it to someone who does. The website itself does not collect any money but allows people to sign a pledge to donate theirs to someone in need. You can donate to anyone you want, in any way you want. Haanen explained that it could be as simple as buying groceries for your neighbor, “sometimes it’s a physical gift, a check or even paying medical bills,” he said.
So far the site has received 1,244 pledges that equate to $602,172 in dollars pledged. After you make the pledge and give back in some way you can share your story on the site to inspire others to give back. Haanen explained that the middle-class has the power to impact the lives of the lower-class right now. “It’s a generosity movement of the middle,” Haanen stated, “the Americans who received stimulus checks are not the wealthiest Americans.”
Haanen’s goal with the campaign is to encourage “open-ended generosity” in the community and to keep it going even after the pandemic. “Generosity is a joyful way of living,” he said, “we live in a noisy culture but to see somebody’s needs you really need to slow down a little bit.” The pandemic has definitely forced many to slow down and as the economy begins to open back up he is hopeful that the generosity will continue.