COVID-19, Inequality, and Donating What You Can Now

Or, why I donated more than $7000 in recent weeks |



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This is the world we live in now – one in which those worst off are hit hardest by the Coronavirus, and the inequalities and ugly divides within the United States get even worse.

I asked myself what I should do about this, as someone who at least has a stable income and considerable savings from the 2 years I worked as a software engineer in the Bay Area. The answer was simple: donate a lot of the money I had saved, and do it now, ideally in a way that got it to those likeliest to get hit hardest by the pandemic.

And so, I donated 20% of my cash savings, $7000, to GiveDirectly’s Project 100, which simply “gives $1000 cash transfers, no strings attached, to families in financial need to help make ends meet during the coronavirus crisis.” I also donated smaller amounts to other causes, but 20% was the big one. I decided on this amount as something sensible to still leave me with significant savings in case of a crisis or need (I might actually want to buy a car some day, who knows).

I share this not to elicit praise or pat myself on the back, but rather to suggest you consider doing something similar, if you are in a similar position of having considerable amounts of money saved up in checkings or savings accounts. Now more than ever it made sense to just do something big, to really give away what I could, in the face of this enormous crisis that will only make the lives of those who already have a much harder life that I do that much harder.

To really address these issues would require far more than individual actions, of course. But personally, it just seemed to make sense to still do what I could, and I only hope this post might give some others in a similar position this idea to consider.