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How to help furloughed U.S. federal workers: 6 things you can do right now

How to help furloughed U.S. federal workers: 6 things you can do right now
[Photo: Jacob Creswick/Unsplash]

Some 800,000 U.S. federal workers are still going without pay as the government shutdown enters the record books as the longest in history. The shutdown appears to have no end in sight, leaving many federal employees struggling to pay living expenses and provide basic necessities for their loved ones. While some are at home on furlough, others have been insultingly called back to work, even though they’re not getting paid.

If you want to help your fellow humans and clean up a bit of the U.S. government’s mess, here are a few things you can do:

  1. Donate to a food bank. The Capital Area Food Bank’s Hunger Lifeline, which provides emergency food services in the greater Washington, D.C., area, told the Washington Post they have seen demand go up 10% to 20% since the government shutdown. But federal workers aren’t just in the D.C. area, and in fact, food banks around the country are stepping up to help with assistance from their communities. Find a local food pantry here.
  2. Donate to World Central Kitchen. Chef Jose Andres is taking his nonprofit to the nation’s capital and feeding government employees. Donate here.
  3. Donate to GoFundMe. The site has launched its own fundraiser with a boost from Deepak Chopra (because these are the times we live in) to help furloughed employees pay their bills during the shutdown.
  4. Donate to the National Diaper Bank Network. The organization includes more than 200 local diaper banks and provides 52 million diapers a year, but it needs help to keep up with federal workers’ current needs. Donate here, and if you need diapers, click here.
  5. Donate to help the National Parks. National Park Foundation started a fundraiser to help foot the bill for fixing up the parks after the shutdown. People can sign up to volunteer at national parks after the shutdown to help clean up the detritus left by people.
  6. Call your representatives and the White House. Call, email, fax, or send letters to members of Congress to tell them you support federal workers and want them back to work with pay as soon as possible. Get in touch with the White House here. You can find U.S. Representatives here, and your U.S. senators here.
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