Merrimack Valley

Mass. Nonprofit Benefitting From Generous Neighbors Donating Their Stimulus Checks

“That is what has enabled us to survive and keep going,” Emmaus’ Executive Director Jeanine Murphy said. “Pam [Wool] is an example of the kindness in our community.”

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Believe it or not there are people who haven’t been financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, but those people are still getting stimulus checks.

And now, one nonprofit in the Merrimack Valley says it’s benefitting from generous neighbors, who want their relief check to go to those who really need it.

Pam Wool is a retired Merrimack Valley resident who has a stable income.

“I’m really not struggling financially as a result of COVID and I’m able to make ends meet,” Wool said. “I feel very lucky.”

But she still got a hefty stimulus check in the mail.

“To me, it’s like, this money needs to be somewhere else, it’s not for me,” Wool said.

So, she decided to donate her federal relief funds to a nonprofit in Haverhill called Emmaus.

“I guess I felt like I knew people would respond, I knew they would step up, and they are,” said Emmaus’ Executive Director Jeanine Murphy.

Last year, when restaurants, shops, and offices starting closing, Emmaus’ two emergency shelters stayed open even longer than the normal 12 hours a day.

“We needed to have a safe harbor for people, so we said we’re just going to do it, we’re going 24/7,” Murphy explained.

The nonprofit, which helps families facing homelessness, needed to quickly implement safety measures, and provide additional services to the growing number of people falling on hard times.

“It cost Emmaus an additional $50,000 a month to provide all of these extra services,” Murphy said.

It’s extra money Emmaus doesn’t have -- but will -- thanks to the generosity of people like Wool, who understand this pandemic is affecting everyone in a different way.

“It feels good to know it has an impact and goes to making a difference,” she said.

“That is what has enabled us to survive and keep going,” Murphy said. “Pam is an example of the kindness in our community.”

Emmaus started seeing people donate their stimulus checks the first time around. Now, they’re hoping this trend catches on, because Murphy says the demand for services is still on the rise.

If you want to step up for your neighbors, make sure to do your research to find a reputable nonprofit before donating money.

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