Richard MacPherson likes to help people, whether it’s a neighbor with yard work or car repairs, or using the heavy equipment skills he acquired with the Air Force to aid in the aftermath of natural disasters like hurricanes.
And, he’s a loyal supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
So when he saw that his bank account had grown by $1,200, thanks to funds sent to taxpayers as part of the pandemic relief act, MacPherson acted perfectly in character. He donated it to St. Jude.
"Could I have used that money for something? Sure. But did I need to? No," MacPherson said. "I thought, 'Well, let me put it to good use.'"
Retired from the Air Force and living in central Georgia, MacPherson is one of a growing number of people helping charities by donating funds sent to them as part of the CARES Act. In addition to the relief funds for taxpayers, the CARES Act also provides a direct tax credit of up to $300 for donating to charity, along with other provisions that may offer many other additional tax benefits for people donating to charity.
MacPherson said he appreciates the additional burdens the pandemic has created for St. Jude and families relying on the hospital for hope and healing.
"Plain and simple, it's all about the kids," MacPherson said.
Originally from upstate New York, MacPherson moved to Georgia when he enlisted in the Air Force, and said he served in Desert Storm.
He now works for the Air Force as a civilian and said, "I'm always doing something. I can't sit still."
That includes keeping his beloved 1973 Z28 Camaro in near-mint condition, and helping neighbors.
"All you've got to do is look around and there's something that needs doing," MacPherson said.
He agreed to share the story of his act of generosity for St. Jude in the hope that others may also consider steering funds from relief checks to charity.
"Pass it forward," MacPherson said. "Somebody else out there is always going to be worse off than you."