CNN — Looking for a worthy cause to donate money to? How about the national debt?
Individual Americans have pitched in nearly eight million of their own dollars this year to help reduce the nation's more than 16 trillion- dollar credit card bill.
That's more than double the total donated last year... but it's still a tiny fraction of the overall debt.
The idea of accepting donations to help pay down the national debt began in 1961, when an anonymous estate left $20 million to the Bureau of Public Debt.
Congress had to pass a law to accept those funds. Now, citizens can contribute online at pay.gov or include a seperate check with your federal income tax return.