The government shutdown is causing real stress for hundreds of thousands of individuals, and their families, who are directly affected by the loss of income. This three-part series features the individual, larger organized philanthropic, and corporate responses to support those most affected by the hard realities of the shutdown.
Did you miss part one of the series? Find the individual ways you can help federal employees and contractors affected here.
Organized Philanthropic Response to Government Shutdown
- Food pantries are reporting an increase in demand by 10-20% and many are making public statements advocating for the government to fund programs and for the public to continue to give funds in light of the increased need.
- The National Parks Foundation is launching a fundraising effort for the restoration that will be needed to assess and address the intentional and unintentional damage after the government reopens called the Parks Restoration Fund.
- Some private philanthropists, like self-made billionaire Marcus Lemonis, are activating their own response by offering to hire furloughed workers for part time positions at their company, and tasking their own employees with volunteering to fill in where the shut down is affecting communities.
- More than 120 members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, who are considered “essential” employees, have asked for their paychecks to be withheld, refused, or are donating them all together. Many have taken to social media to share proof of their commitment and solidarity with federal employees. Some have opted to donate their salaries to charities directly tied to the issue of the government shutdown, like HIAS, while others are utilizing the donation to support their home communities, like homelessness or hunger charities in their regions.
- United Way has launched the United for US Coalition to help connect furloughed workers with community and corporate resources to meet basic needs like rent and monthly bills.
- The Salvation Army has a Washington Area Fuel Fund which pays for fuel to heat the homes of individuals in need.
- World Central Kitchen has opened an emergency feeding operation and fundraising operation called #ChefsForFeds in D.C.
- Larger public infrastructure organizations are anticipating the effect that the shutdown will have on the sector, similar to the shutdown in 2013. Philanthropy News Digest, The Non Profit Times, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy offer good summaries on the issue.
Stay tuned for next week’s final post in our series about philanthropy’s response to the government shutdown, which features the business community’s response.
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