As a generation, millennials have been hit hard financially by the coronavirus pandemic. While some may have moved back in with their parents or say they're stressed about their financial security, they’re also the group that’s giving back.
Keana McGrath, 27, lives in Golden Hill and works at a healthcare staffing agency based in San Diego. Speaking about her work she said, “We're especially busy during this time, we are staffing hospitals all over the country.”
While she feels lucky to be working during the pandemic, her longtime boyfriend was furloughed, then laid off from his hotel job in downtown. While his unemployment check covers his rent, there's not much leftover.
“I've taken a lot of time just to support him by making meals for him most of the week, sending leftovers, covering additional expenses like medical bills,” McGrath said.
She also supports her friends that are unemployed, due to the coronavirus pandemic, in small ways.
“I also like to send my friends little Venmo's for coffee or lunch during this time,” she said.
McGrath also continues to donate money to causes she is passionate about.
“I've donated to Feeding San Diego which supports food banks here, I've donated to NAACP which supports the black lives matter movement. I want to put my money where my mouth is," she said. “I was just raised that all humanity is equal and there shouldn’t be different treatment between races and it’s something I have always been pretty passionate about.”
Apparently McGrath is not alone amongst her peers.
According to a September 2020 study on consumer payment behaviors by payment app Zelle, nearly 3 out of 4 millennials (defined as ages 25 to 34) have sent some kind of financial aid to family or friends or donated to a nonprofit since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Their report is based on a survey of adults ages 18 to 72. That’s the highest rate among any of the generations polled.
Gen Z (ages 18 to 24) had the second-highest giving rate at 66%, followed by Gen X and lastly Baby Boomers.
University of San Diego economist Regina Trevino isn’t surprised.
“Millennials actually have a reputation for generous and philanthropic generations. They have an optimistic view of the world they tend to believe good things are happening and they can be the motor for change," Trevino said.
A Zelle report found 64% of Americans say they’ve sent financial aid at least once since the start of the pandemic.
There’s been nearly 12 billion donated globally to COVID-19 elated causes during the first half of 2020, according to an August report by Candid and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, which tracks global philanthropic activity.