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What Could Local Non-Profits Do With A $600 Stimulus Check?

United Way in Kokomo

In 2020, United Way Monroe County raised more than $1.6 million for local non-profits thanks to community donors. (Samantha Horton)

Monroe County non-profits won’t receive a $600 stimulus check, despite altering how they function and serving more community members than ever before. 

United Way of Monroe County Executive Director Efrat Feferman said many local non-profits had to completely revise how they serve the community due to COVID-19 while also serving in a larger capacity. And she said many populations — especially vulnerable groups like the elderly, people with disabilities and young children — haven’t gotten the government support they need during the pandemic.

 “When (the pandemic) started to unfold, we were looking at it the same way we would approach disaster relief,” Feferman said. “But the end is nowhere in sight.”

READ MORE: Pandemic Forces Nonprofits To Close, Cut Back On Programs

In 2020, United Way Monroe County raised more than $1.6 million for local non-profits thanks to community donors. Feferman said a lot of that funding went to emergency services that also received a majority of federal, state and local aid, but other nonprofit organizations that offer more long-term support rely nearly entirely on community support.

The stimulus payments of $600 are going to individuals who make up to $75,000 a year and couples who file taxes jointly and make up to $150,000. Some people at those higher income levels donated their stimulus checks in the spring.

So, what could area non-profits do with the $600 being sent out this time?

 “We do support partner agencies – 24 of them – in carrying on their important work in the community,” Feferman said. “We also have some of our own programs and initiatives.”

According to Feferman, she said $600 could cover a year’s worth of after-school programming for a child at Boys and Girls Club.

And we asked several different nonprofit leaders how they could use that money.

Beacon (formerly Shalom Community Center) said it could add 50 beds to A Friend’s Place overnight shelter. Middle Way House said $600 would fund its live chat support for three years, and Centerstone said it could provide emergency food, hygiene products and PPE to 20 homeless youths. Community Kitchen of Monroe County said $600 would buy 250 meals for community members, while Monroe County CASA said it could train 6 volunteers to provide advocacy to abused and neglected children. The Monroe County Library said they could add 30 new books to their shelves with $600.

READ MORE: Local Nonprofit And Business Leaders Concerned About Increased COVID-19 Cases Going Into Winter

But Feferman doesn’t want to downplay the need of other non-profit groups in the community.

 “I want to make sure I’m not suggesting that emergency services are well-funded because they have had to deal with increased need,” Feferman said.

According to her, many Monroe County residents have had to take advantage of non-profit services for the first time during the pandemic, and she encourages community members to take stock of what they can do for the community in these vulnerable times.

“If we invest in all of the non-profits that attend to our more vulnerable friends and family and neighbors, I think we’ll continue to weather this and hopefully come out stronger on the other end.”

For the latest news and resources about COVID-19, bookmark our Coronavirus In Indiana page here.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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