Website encourages people to donate unneeded stimulus money

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Are you one of those lucky people who hasn't been affected financially during the pandemic?

If so, a Wake County group is encouraging you to donate some or all of your latest stimulus payment to those who really need the help.

More than a quarter-million dollars of donated stimulus money has already been reported to the folks behind pledgemycheck.org.

"What we at Pledge My Check are doing is we're trying to encourage those people to donate part or all of that stimulus check," Bethany Faulkner said.

Faulkner was contacted by some buddies from her days at North Carolina State University in the spring of 2020 at the start of the pandemic.

They wanted her to design the logo and website for something for their planned website.

They explained that the idea behind creating Pledge My Check was to encourage people like her who still had a job to pledge some or all of their stimulus money to those who had been laid off during the pandemic.

She paused and thought of her own circumstance and the idea clicked.

"Financially, I was still in a pretty stable position but I still got the check," she said. "And so I thought, 'This is not really for me. I think this should be redirected to someone else who needs it.'"

Pledge My Check doesn't collect the donations, just the pledges and the stories behind the giving.

"We're basically like a bulletin board of generosity with people telling us where they've donated and why," Faulkner said.

The hope was that those stories would encourage others to join the effort.

It worked.

"That has been incredible to see. I know that right now we're at over $250,000," Faulkner said. "We're kind of heading toward $300,000 now."

And with a second round of stimulus underway and possibly more to come, pledges have picked up again coming from more than 30 different states.

Faulkner and her friends are now setting a lofty goal of $1 million.

But even if they don't reach it, Faulkner said their work has been immensely rewarding.

"I'm so proud of our team. We have it, we're all volunteer-led and no one's getting paid," she said, "We're all just in it because we believe in it."

If you didn't give in the first round and can afford it this time, Faulkner and her friends hope you'll not only do that but share your story online at Pledge My Check.
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