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Share your CARES money (if you can)

Some Presbyterians don’t really need their government stimulus check. Consider donating it

by Robert Hay, Jr., Presbyterian Foundation | Special to Presbyterian News Service

Robert Hay, Jr.

JEFFERSONVILLE, Indiana — The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, is giving most Americans a stimulus check that the U.S. Treasury says should be directly deposited in many bank accounts starting this week. As this money arrives, many people are beginning to think about how they will spend it — and I want to invite you to #ShareYourCares, if you can.

Some of us desperately need this money. Some have lost jobs or been furloughed, or our work schedule has been impacted such that our pay is significantly less than normal. The stimulus check for some of us will help to cover our basic living expenses.

But some of us are doing financially OK during this crisis. We still have jobs and steady paychecks. We might even be saving some money because we are not spending it eating out, driving, traveling or enjoying entertainment as we did before. This is where I find myself during this crisis.

For those of us like me who are doing OK during this crisis, what can we do with this CARES Act money that we were not expecting, and we do not need?

We could put this money in our savings account or in our retirement account. We could purchase that new gadget that we have been wanting.

Or we could do some good with this money.

As Christians, we are called to love our neighbors, and this is an opportunity to live out that commandment. I plan to give every penny of my CARES stimulus check away to someone who needs it.  This stimulus check does not belong to me – and it never did. Nothing I have belongs to me. Everything I have belongs to God and God has entrusted me with it. I am to be a good steward of God’s assets. I believe the best way to be a good steward of my stimulus check is to give it to someone who needs it.

#ShareYourCARES is an opportunity to love your neighbors. Maybe you have a family member who needs it or an actual neighbor who needs it. Maybe it is your housekeeper or your hairdresser. Maybe it is the small business owner in your community. Maybe it is the nonprofit in your community that is helping those in need during this crisis. Maybe it is your church who is still providing ministry during this crisis. #ShareYourCARES is an opportunity to love your neighbors.

This is our opportunity to say thank you to God for the generous blessing of good health and financial security. Can you share your CARES? If you decide to do so, post about it in social media and use the hashtag #ShareYourCARES. We’d love to see what God calls you to do during this time.

Robert Hay, Jr. is the Presbyterian Foundation’s senior ministry relations officer for the Southeast Region. He works with congregations to create a culture of generosity, offers seminars and workshops, develops gifts and fundraising plans for ministries, and provides coaching and consulting to pastors, committees, sessions, and lay leaders.

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