Iowans Contribute CARES Act Checks to Charity

Writer: Steven Dinnen

Congress is poised to soon dole out a third round of stimulus money to Americans. In a small way, perhaps, that could be good news for the nonprofit world.

As the pandemic first took hold of the nation around this time last year, the stock market tanked, the economy took a nosedive and jobless rates went through the roof. Congress responded with the CARES Act, which pumped $2.2 trillion into the economy. Individually, most American adults ended up with checks of $1,200 each, and some of those checks found their way into the coffers of charitable organizations such as the Quad Cities Community Foundation.

Sherry Ristau, CEO of the foundation, said that late last spring all hands were on deck to address the pandemic and handle the disaster recovery fund that her organization launched. Ristau even got pressed into opening the mail, and found check after check for $1,200. Attached notes indicated the money was indeed CARES funds, with the donors hoping the foundation could find a way to put it to use.

“I just see people being more and more generous,” Ristau said. And soon they will have to decide what to do with a fresh batch of $1,400 checks. She’ll be waiting for the mail.

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