Major donors are stepping up to fill gaps caused by the government shutdown. These private dollars are blunting the pain caused by closed programs, helping keep kids in school and feeding vulnerable families.
One generous couple provided a $10 million grant to reopen Head Start centers in six states. Now, over 7000 young children can go back to learning their ABCs, making fall artwork, and getting ready for school.
Another donor, insurance company USAA, provided over $200,000 so that the Air Force-Navy football game could go on.
More modest donations are filling gaps, too – one inspiring mom organized a food drive, starting with donations from her own pear tree, to feed mothers, infants, and toddlers hurt by the stops of the government’s WIC feeding program.
Here are a few ways you, too, can make a difference:
1. Demand that our elected officials get their act together and vote on a budget. Join with Moms Rising.
2. As long as the shutdown continues, many nutrition programs for children and seniors, including Meals on Wheels, won’t have money to continue. Contact your local food pantry or meal delivery program and see if you can donate food, your time, or funds.
3. Shelters and affordable housing providers are also hurt by the shutdown – one program that supports efforts to house veterans and the chronically homeless, for example, has been shut down. See if the local homeless shelter in your community needs additional support.
4. Lots of nonprofits will face cash flow challenges, even when the tantrums are over and a bill finally passes in Washington. Many may have to draw on loans to pay their employees and keep the lights on, while they wait for already promised federal funds to trickle down to them. That means interest, an extra budget item for the many nonprofits, from afterschool programs to social services organizations, that receive federal grants or contracts. To help, you can generously support the charities you care the most about during these tough times.