Since Your Name’s On The Check . . .

I thought you should know how I spent it, Mr. President.

Photo by Matthew Lancaster on Unsplash

Dear Mr. President, thank you for the money you sent.

I do realize it wasn’t you sending it all by yourself. I understand there were a few others involved, including all of Congress, and that also the Treasury Dept. and the IRS did their bit to get these funds to me. 

Also, I get that it wasn’t your money you sent me. It was public money, collected from taxpayers like me, and I guess you too, although who would know? But you made sure to have your name printed on my check, so it seems you would like to receive credit. 

Besides, from the way you talk to and about the various state governors who have sought federal resources, it’s clear that you feel very strongly about being appreciated. And since I and the rest of my fellow Americans, including all the governors, are bound to need a lot more help getting through this crisis, I am happy to do my share in making you feel properly acknowledged. 

And it’s not just me! You sent a check to my husband too.

So he and I pooled our funds and decided one good use of them would be to do what we could to support small businesses that are struggling to survive — and that we are sure you would like to Liberate immediately, but we don’t want their staff to get sick and die if they open too early, and we don’t want to get sick and die either, so how about if we pump the breaks on that until . . . never mind, I know you don’t want to hear this. 

Anyway, we did this by purchasing a number of gift certificates or making payments in advance, sort of micro-bridge loans, to several mom-and-pop establishments that we would be sorry to have to live without once we all emerge from the COVID-19 crisis. 

By the way, in regards to the “19” part and just in case nobody has mentioned it to you yet: I’d just like to politely point out that Kellyanne Conway, your senior adviser, was perhaps a teeny bit confused when she made the following remark while defending your decision to pull funding from the World Health Organization:

“This is COVID-19, not COVID-1, folks. And so you would think that people charged with the World Health Organization facts and figures would be on top of that.”

You might like to know that the WHO people (no, not Roger Daltrey et al) are on top of that. The “19” in COVID-19 refers to the year the virus was identified, as in 2019. It’s not like the numbers in a movie sequel, like Jaws 3

But you don’t want to hear about that either. 

Back to the small businesses we supported with your generosity

  • $200 to the woman who cuts our hair. My husband and I have the same hairstylist, and she’s awesome. She’s also the mother of two young boys and she’s obviously out of a job for now, as is her husband who was formerly a server at a high-end restaurant. I hope they all got checks with your name on them too, but we’re thinking they could use a little more what with rent and groceries and all that.
  • $200 to our favorite massage therapist. She’s not even in the state where we now live, but when we go back to her state (you’d like it; it’s very red!) to visit, we always try to book some time with her. She’s a single mom and of course, she can’t work at the moment. And she is a genius masseuse. No, I’m not going to tell you her name, you rascal, you.
  • $200 to our local taqueria. Don’t let that Mexican word make you nervous, sir. The family that owns and staffs it were all born here in America. Perhaps I should just point out to you that that makes them citizens?
  • $100 to a small art-house cinema. It’s in the other (red!) state too, and it’s a great little place that operates on a shoe-string budget but shows movies you don’t get to see anyplace else. At least not in that state
  • $100 (well, $50 each) to our two favorite coffee houses. We love a perfectly crafted cup of java. I guess you could say we feel as strongly about coffee as you do about Diet Coke, although that is hard for me to get my mind around given that Diet Coke tastes to me like it’s laced with cleaning fluid. But you know best.

Then we made some donations to worthy causes

  • $200 to a small, nonprofit, movie theater. They show great movies there and are incredibly generous to the schools and civic organizations in our small town — when they’re able to operate. We really want them to be there when we can go to the movies again. 
  • $100 to our local Meals On Wheels. I don’t think this needs much explanation; you’ve probably heard of them.
  • $100 to a food bank. Maybe I should explain.A food bank uses donations to buy food and then it gives the food away, so it doesn’t behave like the banks you’re familiar with. And nobody there wears bespoke suits. 
  • $100 to a social services program up there in the red state. This one focuses on women and children, a lot of whom really have it tough up there. I won’t bore you with why.
  • $100 to a local nonprofit social services program. This is a family center in our town that provides all kinds of support to low-income folks and their kids. You see, we live in a touristy, wine-country area where the income disparity is drastic, and since the people this outfit serves are the ones who are essential to . . . never mind. I see I’m losing your attention. Just wait until you hear about the other organizations we’ve sent money to — you’ll really be excited!
  • $100 to Fair Fight. In case you haven’t heard of this (because maybe nobody close to you has felt like being the one to tell you), this is Stacey Abrams’ grass-roots organization that is working to get out the vote in November and make sure that everybody who is eligible to vote is able to. Not like what happened in Wisconsin earlier this month, or in Georgia’s last governor’s race . . . no, wait, there’s more!
  • $100 to Florida Rights Restoration Coalition. We don’t live in Florida, but we know that Florida is a key battleground state in the November election. The FFRC is a very cool organization that seeks to restore voting rights for returning citizens — meaning, people who were formerly incarcerated. If that idea really catches on, think how great that could be for some of your friends like Roger Stone and maybe even Michael T. Flynn ( who is no relation to me, let’s just get that straight right now). 

But that leaves $800 still unspent

So guess what? We’re sending it, in monthly installments between now and November, to Joe Biden’s campaign

See? I told you you’d be excited. 


  1. Wonderful post! It is so heartwarming and inspiring to see people giving their stimulus checks to charitable and progressive causes. I’ve donated about ~70% of mine so far (mostly to community organizations and local bookstores). I’m glad that I waited to donate the rest because some of the organizations you’ve listed here are WONDERFUL. Fair Fight especially has a place in my heart because I lived in Georgia in 2018, but my voter registration (which I submitted before the deadline) was oh-so-conveniently not processed until a few days after the election, so my provisional vote for Stacey Abrams was not counted.

    • Wow — how outrageous that you were denied your vote in 2018, Hannah. If I put you on to Fair Fight, I’m delighted. And I know lots of us are putting our stimulus money to good use — one of my friends immediately sent her whole payment to her local food bank, knowing that in her state there are now many people who never thought they’d be in the position of needing help with food, but they do now.

  2. Yay for you, Jan! I love the idea of sharing the wealth. Bill and I donated most of our check to our local food bank. The money we didn’t give to the food bank, we used to help our youngest son, a single dad with 2 young boys who is temporarily out of his job as a beverage manager at a local restaurant.

  3. I was actually surprised when we received money directly into our bank account. I had thought the stimulus checks were for those who’d filed for unemployment. It’s so weird to me that my husband and I each received $1,200 because we’re still earning our incomes, and because we can’t go out and do things, we’re “making” money. I would rather the stimulus money had gone to someone else. You’ve inspired me to have a conversation with my spouse about what to do with this money. So far, we’ve been buying things from local businesses and tipping food folks $20, but that’s not enough.

    • Thanks for reading and responding, Melanie, and I think it’s a great idea to use at least some of that money to help out your local economy — I salute you and your spouse!

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