How to Help Those Affected By The Government Shutdown

The government shutdown has ended, temporarily ending the longest government shutdown in history, which lasted 34 days, 21 hours, and 27 minutes. President Trump shut down the government on December 22, 2019 after Congress refused his plea for 5.7 billion dollars to continue building the wall on the border of Mexico and the United States. During this time, more than 800,000 federal employees were working without pay and receiving no funding. These workers, including the FBI, the TSA, the EPA, the CIA, and many more have been scrambling for money to make ends meet. Through protests, sit-ins, walk outs, and marches, workers have been looking for second jobs. These jobs include fast food restaurants, night shifts, babysitting, and rideshare jobs.

The government will be temporarily open for three weeks while the president and Congress come to an agreement on a budget. But, that will not be helpful to federal workers. There is already too much damage and it will take a long time for the workers and their families to recover. The shutdown cost the country 6 billion dollars, about 1.4 billion more than Trump asked for. No one knows for sure when the workers will be reimbursed. Some won’t see their money at all. We owe it to them to help during this time. They worked to support us without pay, putting their lives at stake. Here is how you can help:

 

  1. Donate to Food Banks

Food Banks are always accepting food for anyone who needs it. With the growing number of people not able to afford groceries, they are running out of food faster. Donate to your local food bank by donating:

  • Canned Vegetables

  • Canned Meat

  • Cereal

  • Rice

  • Soup

  • Chili

  • Peanut butter

  • Nuts

  • Canned or Dried Fruit

  • Granola Bars

Make sure to check with your local food bank to see if they need any specific items.

  1. World Central Kitchen #ChefsforFeds

Chef Jose Andres’s nonprofit opened in the D.C. area providing free meals prepared by volunteer chefs. The kitchen gives out ingredients, recipes and food to prepare at home. The nonprofit is accepting donations, volunteer time, and other resources.

https://www.worldcentralkitchen.org/

  1. GoFundMe

Federal employees and nonprofit organizations have been making GoFundMe pages to raise money for those who have been affected by the shutdown.  Go to GoFundMe.com and search government shutdown. There are 4103 results found.

https://www.gofundme.com/

  1. The Federal Employee Education and Assistant Fund

This independent program is providing emergency hardship loans to those who need a sum of money during the shutdown to help with expenses like medical bills, paying rent, and insurance payments.

https://feea.org/

  1. United for Us Fund

This fund has been set up by The United Way to help federal employees, federal contractors, and anyone connected to the shutdown. This fund provides financial services, counseling, and emergency assistance with food, rent, and other basic needs.

  1. Feeding America

Feeding America is a nonprofit organization working to end hunger together. They are a nationwide organization with more than 200 food banks feeding more than 46 million people. It is the largest domestic hunger-relief organization in America. Go to their website to find a food bank or pledge money.

https://www.feedingamerica.org/

  1. Greater DC Diaper Bank

The Greater DC Diaper Bank is a diaper bank in Washington DC. The organization supply’s diapers and women's hygiene products to those who can’t afford it. One dollar donated is eight diapers supplied. You can donate to the organization on their website.

https://greaterdcdiaperbank.org/

  1. National Parks Foundation

The National Parks in America have been being neglected because of the lack of funding and the park’s workers not receiving any pay. They have been trashed and vandalized by visitors. The garbage cans are overflowing, and bathrooms aren’t being cleaned. Even with the end of the shutdown, some parks will take longer to officially reopen as a national park, so the workers can clean them up. You can help by volunteering at local parks to speed up the cleanup process and donate directly to the organization.

https://greaterdcdiaperbank.org/

  1. Help the Cause

As Americans, we should all support one another. Speak out about the conditions federal employees are living with. Offer love and support. Tweet and post about it! Get people’s attention and educate them! Research the shut down and the aftermath so you fully understand what is happening. We must take care of one another and fight for what is right. Offer a helping hand when needed.

 

“Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”  - Mr. Rogers

 

Shine Bright <3