More Local Help for Federal Workers During Shutdown

Several organizations in our state are doing what they can to make things easier for those federal workers not being paid during the government shutdown.

During the shutdown, people want to make sure impacted workers don’t have to worry about how to pay for some of the basics: from working out to cooking dinner.

Help arrived by the bagful in West Haven Wednesday.

Diane Moorcroft was among those who donated to a drive to benefit U.S. Coast Guard families affected by the partial government shutdown. Before people watched Hamden versus West Haven hockey, they dropped off canned goods, non-perishables and household supplies.

“I don’t think it’s fair everybody should have such a difficult time and I just wanted to help people out,” Moorcroft said.

Members of West Haven Elks Lodge 1537, including Mike Southworth, organized the event.

“It’s been a very big support from a lot of communities,” he said.

Southworth told NBC Connecticut all the donated items will be given to Coast Guard families during an appreciation lunch on Sunday.

“The Coast Guard is out there protecting our waters, protecting our harbor and they’re not being compensated. It’s very tough for them. They’re not able to put the food on the tables, they’re not able to take care of their own kids. So it’s about time for the public to give back to them for them taking care of us,” Southworth said.

Taking a weight off the shoulders of federal workers not being paid is also the goal of The YMCA of Greater Hartford.

“We just thought it was the social responsible thing to do and that’s part of our mission and our work,” said CEO and President Harold Sparrow.

Sparrow said affected members can have their January dues refunded and they won’t have to pay membership fees until the shutdown is over.

“There’s an African proverb that says when elephants fight it’s the grass that suffers. So we didn’t want to see the people within the Greater Hartford region struggle.”

Affected federal workers who are not members can use the Y facilities for free as long as the shutdown lasts. The Y will also work with members who have kids in its childcare.

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