Posted on

Suggests putting stimulus money to work in local area

Vox Pop

Something Brian Wilson wrote at the end of his column last week stuck with me, and as we head into a New Year and a time of making resolutions, I am hopeful that many others might be willing to join my family.

Over the next two weeks, many of us will be receiving a stimulus check. For many families, this will be vital, meeting immediate needs and covering past due bills. There are also many people like me - I am not a ‘high earner’ who exceeds the income levels and so I will be receiving a stimulus check, but both myself and my wife have been able to maintain our jobs and income this year and we do not need the money - for us, it is a holiday bonus.

With this in mind, we have decided to share this bonus with our community - we are going to be spending this money on many of the local businesses and charitable organizations here in Medford that have been hit so much harder by the pandemic and all of the changes and challenges it has brought. From Main Street businesses to local charities, I want my stimulus to stimulate our local economy. I don’t need this to sit in a bank account or to head off into the stock futures of Amazon.

We are pledging to spend $1,200 in January - we are going to get something nice for our house from a store we haven’t visited before, get some take out and gift cards from our favorite restaurants, and help to support local food pantries.

I am hopeful that others who are lucky, who have been able to keep their income while so many have struggled, will join me in this. Set aside some of your stimulus and find something you care about to support - donate to local churches and charities who have had a hard year; get some food or a gift card to a local restaurant who have had to be constantly changing their rules and setup; use the stimulus to join a local civic organization; explore a store you haven’t been to before and find something special. My $1,200 won’t do that much alone, but if we all consciously choose to spend our stimulus in our community, we can make a big difference, and we might even enjoy it! — Ben Koch, Medford