Soon, many of us will receive $1,200 checks from the U.S. Treasury. They will be a one-time lifeline for people with no savings, who have lost their jobs and income, whose creditors will still sweep money out of their bank accounts, who need groceries.
What will happen to these neighbors the following month, and the next, as it seems this virus has killed not only people but businesses.
Some of us who receive the checks, though, still have income and safe homes and internet and savings. I’ve decided to donate mine to one or more community organizations that pick up the slack in hard times. The food bank. After-school programs. Shelters. Senior services.
I might give directly to someone who needs it — a friend or neighbor.
People are stretched thin, and the other Washington is far away. If you have enough, can you pass along part or all of your check to the people, largely invisible, who will need help in months two and beyond, until our businesses and jobs are up and running? People who normally clean houses and schools, who cook and serve meals, who make art and give massages and cut hair.
It’s a stop gap, but if I don’t really need it to stay afloat, solidarity says I help the community.