When I was a little girl my grandfather always taught me the importance of working hard. Just like most Americans, he believes in the principle of honest work makes honest money. What happens though when you’re forced to work for the self-proclaimed “greatest nation in the world”, but without pay.
Thousands of government employees returned home from work today tired, unsure, and BROKE. In a country where 78% of citizens live paycheck to paycheck, how are we supposed to survive when no check comes? One couple who works for the FDA told reporters he and his wife have already begun using their savings. To the 57% of Americans who have no savings at all, that seems like a blessing. With the government shut down going on day 30, Mitch McConnell continues to openly defy the headway made by the House, President 45 is constantly throwing tantrums, and the end does not look like it’s coming anytime soon.
So far this shutdown is costing an average of $200 million, daily. Over 800,000 federal workers will be missing their second check because of the shutdown. Adding to this are tens of thousands of contracted workers who will not only miss this week’s check, but are also ineligible for back pay. With no hope in sight, federal workers are turning to church pantries and Goodwill stores. In times like this I’m reminded of an old saying told time and time again, “we are our brother’s keeper.”
So how can we help those effected by the government shut down? First, become knowledgeable, this shutdown spans well beyond workers calling out. Do your research, you or your family may be effected. Call your Senator. Legislation to end the shut down has already passed the House, but we must apply the same pressure to get Mitch McConnell to allow a Senate vote. Lastly, donate what you can. In Georgia alone over 16,000 federal workers have been furloughed. Find your local food pantry, church organization, or make donations through Go FundMe. If you are in the Atlanta area, Hosea Helps is an organization dedicated to helping this cause. Volunteer a hand or make a donation. When we are faced with unprecedented opposition it is our duty to help each other. Every worker has a family, and every family has a need. We must challenge the government and stand up for our values. It is truly up to us to be our brother’s keeper.