The federal stimulus payments are starting to arrive in people’s bank accounts and for many, the $1,200 payments are a lifeline. But for a few, they are a chance to do something good in these difficult times.
On an average year, the Sacred Heart Community Service Agency helps roughly 55,000 needy families in Silicon Valley, but this year has been far more.
“The needs have escalated at a level that we’ve never seen before,” said CEO Poncho Guevara. “It's been really cataclysmic for some families that lost their income.”
For many families, the stimulus check will help but for the Gonzales family, the money created a new dilemma.
“The check arrived in the mail and I actually felt pretty bad getting it,” said Grace Gonzales. “I felt embarrassed.
She says she was embarrassed because it was money they would like to have, but certainly don’t need.
Especially when Sacred Heart finds itself with a 25% jump in pleas for help and a drop in donations and volunteers.
So, the Gonzales family decided to give most of their stimulus money to them.
“They are using it for a really good cause, and they’re feeding children and feeding families, and I wanted to do my part,” said Grace.
They then issued a challenge on Facebook, asking friends who could afford it, to also donate part of their stimulus.
“We’ve seen that some have, and that’s great,” said Tony Gonzales. “Every little bit helps.”
Sacred Heart will use the money to provide food for families and in many cases, financial assistance.
“It’s actually the greatest thing to see people that are coming and volunteering or making donations during this time of great uncertainty,” said Guevara.
Standing up for their neighborhood during a crisis of pandemic proportions.
“I feel I did something that not only benefits them, but it benefits us because we did something with it, money that’s going to a good cause,” said Tony.