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Consider using stimulus money to help others

Millions of Americans will receive a bank deposit or check from the federal government to help them during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of them will desperately need the help, because they have lost their jobs, or their small businesses have closed, or they face uncovered medical bills, or for many other reasons. The extra government money will be a big help, but for some people it will not be enough to meet their needs.

Some Americans, however, can get by without the extra money. Take, for instance, a retired middle-class couple: Their invested savings have taken a huge hit because of the pandemic. But their income, Social Security and a couple of small pensions, remains steady. They hope that their savings will rebound in the future, but they know that some people need help now. So, they decide that when their COVID-19 stimulus check arrives, they will use it to help others.

The Iron Mountain Area Clergy Association would like to encourage people who do not really need the extra money to assist those who do. When your check arrives, please consider giving some or all of the money to:

— Family members, friends or neighbors in need;

— Organizations that provide food, clothing or financial help to people;

— Funds that support our health care system and its workers;

— Local businesses such as restaurants, to buy gift cards and give them away.

Or perhaps you have other ideas. Use your creativity to imagine how you can help our community in this crisis.

Even if you give only a small portion of your check, it can make a big difference in someone’s life. Knowing that somebody cares is a great encouragement to people who are struggling.

We are calling this the “2020 Neighbor-Aid Response.” It is just an idea. We are not collecting for IMACA or any other particular organization. We simply ask you to consider the idea, and help to spread the word. Who knows what can happen in this day of social media?

We call on the general public, as well as our fellow Christians, to remember the biblical command to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Let’s all pull together and help our families, our communities, our country and our world get through this together!

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