- Thousands of federal government employees are not getting paid due to the government shutdown.
- The shutdown has now lasted 20 days and is the second-longest in history.
- For many federal employees, the missing paychecks mean delays in bill payments.
- To help pay for their bills, some federal government employees are setting up GoFundMe campaigns.
In the picture at the top of the GoFundMe campaign page, a smiling Nikolai sits in his family car, ready to go somewhere.
In the description underneath, his mother, Diana Arnold, describes a more dire situation.
Nikolai, Niko for short, has Muscular Dystrophy Duchenne, a disease that left him wheelchair-bound, which means his family needs a disability van to move him around. But because of the government shutdown, his family soon won’t be able to afford the towing charges necessary to send the van to an autoshop for a fix.
His family is one of thousands in America that depends on federal paychecks that, because of the shutdown, won’t be arriving on time this month.
“We have bills to pay and children to feed!” Niko’s mum wrote on her family’s GoFundMe page. “It pains me to have to resort to begging for anyone to have a heart and donate whatever they can to help out the ones in need (not just us!).”
The Arnold’s GoFundMe page is one of at least 1,500 on the fundraising site under the tag “Government Shutdown.”
Across the platform, federal employees are sharing stories of how the government shutdown – now in its 20th day – has affected their lives, leaving them struggling to pay their rent and other bills.
2 sons ask for help for their mum
In one campaign, two boys named Robert and Tris are asking for help paying their mother’s bills.
“My mum does not get help from the state, she works really hard to provide for me and my brother,” one of the boys wrote on their family’s fundraiser that is closing in on its $US5,000 goal.
“The last few weeks have been really hard. My mum was in the process of trying to move so my brother and I can have our own room. This has come to a stop now because she has not received her pay check and interest rates have gone way up. In addition, our lease is up and we don’t know what we are going to do.”
The boys added that their mum “can’t get a second job because we are her second job.”
Dozens of people have donated in the two days since the campaign went live, and many commented offering support for the boys to “Stay strong.”
800,000 government workers won’t get their next paycheck
In another campaign, Julie Burr – who last month told INSIDER she had to pick extra shifts at her local Barnes & Noble to make up for the lost income – wrote that she is on panic mode as the shutdown continues.
“If you’d like to help, any donations are appreciated,” she wrote on her GoFundMe page, which has now raised $US11,278 of its $US5,000 goal.
Many more of the federal employee stories on the fundraising site echo Burr’s sentiment:
- a Department of Justice worker says he soon won’t be able to provide food to his family;
- another government employee is worried she won’t be able to afford taking her sick pet to the vet;
- a TSA agent who had just come back from maternity leave when the shutdown started now can’t catch up with her bills.
GoFundMe has a guarantee that if campaigns mislead donors or misuse donations, they will refund your money.
As federal workers remained without pay, Democrats said Trump stormed out of a meeting on Wednesday after vowing to continue the partial government shutdown until they agree to fund $US5.7 billion for the border wall.
On Thursday, Trump is visiting the US-Mexico border. On his way there, he said he doesn’t have “temper tantrums.”
- Read more about the government shutdown:
- ‘How much more American blood must we shed?’: Trump addresses the nation amid government shutdown over border-wall funding
- The government shutdown is now the second-longest on record
- A massive amount of American food safety inspections aren’t happening due to the government shutdown, and it could mean more food-poisoning outbreaks
- Here’s what happens to food stamps and other federal food programs during the government shutdown
- Here’s what happens to Social Security and disability benefits during a government shutdown
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