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You can help pay down the national debt

Are the trillions of dollars in national debt keeping you up at night? Don’t feel helpless -- you can do your part to pay down the country's debt.

Yes, it turns out the Bureau of the Public Debt accepts donations.

Last year, the Treasury Department said it received about $2.8 million in donations, mostly in the form of individual gifts under $100. It’s received about $400,000 so far this year.

Treasury Department spokeswoman Joyce Harris said people can make electronic donations or send checks or cash in the mail.

So, who actually does that?

Harris said people who mail checks sometimes include notes saying that they or their relatives are thankful for the opportunities they’ve had in the United States.

“Some very patriotic immigrants have told us that they’re grateful for this country and want to give back,” she said.

They also sometimes receive donations from school groups who are studying debt issues, Harris said.

Perhaps surprisingly, Harris said she hasn’t seen many letters citing the nation’s high debt levels as the reason for a contribution.

And although the donations may be tax-deductible, Harris said she’s also never seen a letter from someone admitting they are making a donation just to get a tax break.