Just 1% Makes A Difference

May 12, 2020

Like many American moms, Melissa Engdahl is concerned about COVID-19 and how it may affect her family.

A portrait of Melissa Engdahl.
Melissa Engdahl of Charleston, S.C., encouraged friends and followers to join her in donating at least 1% of their CARES Act checks to support COVID-19 relief.

“It’s frightening to me to have a virus out there that there is so little known about,” Engdahl says in an interview from her Charleston, S.C., home. “I know that children don’t seem very directly affected by it, but my health and my ability to be around my children is very important to me.”

In April, Engdahl and her family received a check through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. But given her family’s relatively fortunate circumstances, she decided to give some of that money back to the Johns Hopkins Department of Pathology.

“When I researched and found out that they were taking donations specifically to understand the biology behind COVID-19 and how to treat people who currently have it, I said, ‘yes, this is what I need to give to,’” she recalls.

In this video, Engdahl encouraged followers to join her in donating 1% or more of their stimulus checks to Johns Hopkins or any other organization involved in COVID-19 response efforts. The video has more than 1,300 views on YouTube, and Engdahl said she’s received calls and texts from friends who said they’ve accepted her challenge.

“I know a lot of people are getting laid off, but in my mind, if everyone gives just a little, it adds up to a lot,” she says. “I am happy to do my part.”

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Topics: Friends of Johns Hopkins Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Fuel Discovery, Promote and Protect Health