'Pledge My Check' website encourages those still getting by to donate COVID-19 stimulus checks

CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- For many people the stimulus checks landing in their bank account or mailbox are a lifeline that will quickly disappear.

But, as it turns out, there are some who can get by without a portion or all of their stimulus money.

"For myself and several other folks who helped put this project together, we all still had our jobs and we felt like it would be better to put that money to good use," Ryan O'Donnell of Cary told ABC11.

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He and several friends built this website https://www.pledgemycheck.org/ to encourage others to do what they were doing.

Their goal was $10,000.

O'Donnell said they quickly surpassed it.

"It was really shocking. You know we launched this Monday morning last week. We had no idea what we were going to get. We were assuming a lot of folks were going to be chipping in five or $10 here or there. And then we started getting reports of people pledging their whole $1,200."

As of Tuesday afternoon, over $23,000 was raised from just 51 donors.

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"So right now we just want to get 100 people to pledge and then we will keep setting the bar higher and higher," said O'Donnell.

The Pledge My Check website does suggest some worthy causes but doesn't collect donations.

It just asks people to report what they've given to charity from their stimulus checks.

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But other websites like one from Siembra North Carolina are actively seeking donations.

Several Triangle elected officials have donated to the organization's fund to help undocumented immigrants during the pandemic.

Siembra claims those immigrants paid more that 600 million in taxes in North Carolina in 2018.

But because they don't have social security numbers they won't receive stimulus money.

The volunteers behind Pledge My Check aren't picky about the charity you choose, they just hope you report your donation to their website.

"Give wherever, however, through us, through any of the other pledge sites. The main thing is just make sure you are giving directly to your cause," O'Donnell said.

Some people posting online are suggesting continuing to pay people like your hairdresser the money you would have paid for their services if they were still able to provide them.

And it appears many of those who are giving from their stimulus checks are indeed doing it creatively.

O'Donnell hopes you will challenge yourself as well if you can afford it.

"Several billions of dollars was just sent out so hopefully we can help direct a small portion of that to good causes."
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