Why Share My Cheque?
In this moment of pandemic, the truth of how we are connected to each other and how we are dependent on each other, is being exposed.
What's also being exposed? The fact that this current system of economic polarization is not working out for the vast majority for us, and that its injustices are being exacerbated in the unequal way different communities are being impacted by the current crisis.
Many of us are afraid. Many of us don’t feel safe. Millions of people have lost their jobs in a matter of weeks. Many others are being forced to work at great risk to themselves and their families — without protection, compensation, or access to healthcare. Many people will not be earning or receiving enough funds to sustain themselves and their loved ones.
Many people will not be receiving cheques at all; people who are on social assistance, or working outside the formal economy; those without status, or incarcerated were immediately excluded from the government’s response measures. Many of these people are living in economic precarity all the time, and it is only exacerbated by emergency situations.
Meanwhile, some of us are still receiving a stable income, can afford to lean on savings or family wealth, or are accessing government money that we don’t need for our own immediate survival. Some people are saving money by staying home, or even profiting from this situation by driving up prices on what others need to survive.
For those of us who have some financial stability, now is the time to share our resources, moving money into the hands of the people and organizations that need it the most.
Access to wealth and high paying jobs is largely determined by unearned privileges associated with whiteness, class background, and being a settler on these lands. Building a more just society means redistributing resources to those disenfranchised and oppressed by these same systems. It means refusing to hoard wealth at the expense of the well being and survival of others in our community.
This is an act of solidarity, not charity. Traditional charity models don’t change the status quo; they only ask us to give to those “less fortunate” without also sharing power. They don’t change the underlying structures that result in vast wealth inequality in the first place.
By redistributing resources to organizations and funds that are ensuring people’s survival right now while building towards systemic changes, we can show up in solidarity with each other. This crisis has made it abundantly clear that our individual well-being is directly linked to our collective well-being.
This moment is calling on us to reimagine how we live together, in every possible way. This is one tangible step towards breaking the hold of capitalist thinking and building a new world that takes care of us all and doesn’t treat anyone as disposable — to ensure we all have enough to make it through this collective crisis and beyond.
Will you commit to sharing a portion of your paycheque or savings? Take the pledge here.
How Much Should I Give?
The portion of your income or savings that you choose to share will undoubtedly look different for each person. There is no one right way. Here are a few different ways to think about how to give.
Share instead of saving
If you have enough to survive and have already redistributed some support to mutual aid funds, or to those who need it most right now (including within community, chosen family, family of origin, etc.), consider giving everything you would ordinarily put into savings for the length of the crisis. If you're not able to save with your current income, calculate the expenses that you are not incurring while social distancing (commuting, eating out, entertainment, etc) and donate that amount.
Share a percentage of your paycheque or savings
If you are still receiving a stable income, one that provides you with more than what you need to survive, considering giving 5-10% of each paycheque. If you have a high income or more than 6 months of savings to fall back on, give more than 10%.
Share boldly and generously
Consider what it would feel like to bend without breaking. What comes up when you think about sharing your paycheque or savings? How can you hold the fear that may be there, while also recognizing where there is economic privilege or social protection in your circumstances? As Susan Raffo writes, you may have less than you had a month ago, but is it the less that makes survival dangerous or the less that makes you uncomfortable?
Where Should I Give?
We encourage you to Share Your Cheque with rapid response mutual aid funds and grassroots social movement organizations.
Rapid response and mutual aid funds are peer-to-peer community support funds that are meeting people's immediate needs for food, safety, wellness, and health.
Grassroots movement organizations are groups that are building power and pushing for lasting structural changes. We’ve already seen significant wins due to the hard work of organizers. Most grassroots organizing groups don’t have savings to fall back on and some funders are pulling away in the face of Covid-19, creating even more need for grassroots funding to sustain this work beyond the current crisis.
For a list of mutual aid funds and grassroots movement organizations to give to, click here.
When Should I Give?
People often wait until the end of the calendar year to make donations with tax deductions in mind. Instead, do your giving now.
Set up recurring payments or calendar reminders to share your paycheque for the length of the crisis, or longer. If you are someone for whom budgeting is a helpful tool, put it in your monthly budget.
What Else Can I Do?
Spread the Word
In addition to signing this pledge yourself, share the pledge directly with at least 5 others in your community.
Use it a conversation starter with friends and family on the importance of redistribution and community solidarity, right now and always — or share a story of why you’re pledging to share your cheque and where you’re donating it on social media and tag it #ShareMyCheque.
I’m pledging to #ShareMyCheque. I am working from home during this crisis, while many people have lost their jobs or are being left behind by the government’s response. Redistributing my cheque is the least I can do.
Will you join me? sharemycheque.org
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