“I don’t need my stimulus check. How can I use it to help others?”
The Rev. Angela Herrera
Thursday, April 1, 2020
A few UUs have already reached out to me with this wonderful question, and it’s one I have been thinking about, too. Many people are desperately in need right now. If you are going to receive a stimulus check and are financially secure enough to consider giving it away, here are some places your giving can really make a difference:
- Road Runner Food Bank is one of our congregation’s trusted partners. Our church’s food pantry, which continues to provide food to hungry people every Wednesday, depends on Road Runner and on member donations. With unemployment on the rise, so is the need for food. To give money to Road Runner go here: https://www.rrfb.org/
- To donate directly to our church food pantry, which purchases food from Road Runner at a reduced cost, click here and select the “food pantry” box, or send a check to the church with “food pantry” in the memo line.
- Our church is part of the Family Promise program, which hosts families experiencing homelessness and works quickly to get them back in permanent housing. With the pandemic, kids and parents are no longer able to attend day programming such as school, causing Family Promise’s host costs to increase. You can support them at https://www.familypromiseabq.org/
- Although the federal relief package is record setting in size, some vulnerable populations will still fall through the cracks. Undocumented workers and their families are particularly at risk, as they are not addressed in the package, and they are more likely than other workers to lack health insurance, sick leave, and other benefits and protections. You can redistribute your relief check to those most in need by giving to the Immigrant Worker Safety Net. The fund is run by the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, a trusted partner of the UU Service Committee: https://ndlon.org/immigrant-worker-safety-net-fund/
- If you would like to help your fellow UUs and congregations across the country, the UUA has set up a fund for that. Learn about it here: https://giving.uua.org/covid-19
- You can consider giving a portion to our church’s “ministers discretionary fund.” This fund is used to help members and regular participants in our church during crises. To do so, send a check to First Unitarian with “ministers discretionary fund” in the memo line.
- If you know personally someone in need, consider sharing some money directly with them. Even if they are also receiving a check, this one-time payment may not be enough to get them through until unemployment funds kick in, and even then a family may find their savings depleted and still have a hard time making ends meet.
- Finally, I hope you’ll consider a little extra support for your congregation’s operating fund. We expect the high unemployment rate and recession to impact giving at church. If those who have a little extra give a little extra, it will help First U continue to be here for people in all economic circumstances.
(… speaking of which, if you are experiencing hardship right now due to the pandemic or other crisis, please reach out to your ministers! Your church is here for you. We want to hear from you.)
Ours is such a generous and caring congregation. It is always “growing in spirit, in service, and in love.” Thank you for the many kinds of gifts you share within and beyond our church.
Rev. Angela Herrera