Alabama teacher paid his students’ utility bills with his stimulus check

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(CNN) — Teacher Kent Chambers says he’s fortunate to still be able to work during the coronavirus pandemic, so when he and his wife received their stimulus payment, they decided to help people who haven’t been as lucky.

Chambers has taught math at Bob Jones High School in Madison, Alabama, since 1986 and said he knows some of his students are struggling.

“I’m actually in better shape because I’m not having to pay for gas to drive to work and I’m still getting paid exact same amount,” he said. “There’s no need for me to take the money and splurge and do something reckless with the money. Let’s help somebody that really needs it.”

Chambers and his wife Pat received $2,400 because they’re married.

More than 88 million people received stimulus payments last week as part of the historic $2 trillion stimulus package, according to the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service, and more money is on the way.

Chambers said he used $600 to pay the utility bills for three of his students. He made the payments anonymously, so the families will just see they have zero balance. The money should cover their bills for a little more than two months.

He’s also donating $600 to the burn care center at Shriners Hospital for Children — Cincinnati because the hospital has taken good care of his niece since she was hurt in a house fire.

Chambers said his wife is also doing what she can to support local businesses and has kept paying her gym membership even though the gym is closed because of coronavirus.

The coronavirus pandemic has been devastating for many American workers and a record number of people have filed for unemployment benefits.

Small businesses that have had to shut down because of the pandemic are also struggling to survive.

Continuing coverage on the coronavirus pandemic, here, including the latest news from Ohio.

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