Desperate Americans Start GoFundMe Campaigns to Pay For Food and Medicine During Government Shutdown

President Trump, an unindicted co-conspirator and cause of pointless suffering in the United States right now, on January 6, 2019
Photo: Getty Images

It’s day 19 of President Donald Trump’s government shutdown. And with no end in sight, hundreds of Americans have turned to the crowdfunding website GoFundMe in an effort to pay for basic necessities like groceries, medicine, and rent.

Over 800,000 Americans have been furloughed or are working without a paycheck right now. And those Americans are getting increasingly desperate as the president holds the government hostage for his stupid border wall.

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The stories on GoFundMe describe not only the choices that people are being forced to make between basic things like food and medicine, but the emotional strain that this entire experience is causing.

From a government worker named Julie Burr in Kansas City, Missouri:

Being a contracted government worker, I’m losing pay every day that this government shutdown continues. I’ve taken on extra shifts at my 2nd job but it isn’t going to pay rent and all my bills. Being a single mom, I’m in panic mode right now. If you’d like to help, any donations are appreciated.

From Jeffrey Davis, a government worker in Massachusetts:

Hello everyone. Whether you know me or you don’t, thank you for taking the time for visiting this page. As you may know we are in the middle of a government shutdown. How this personally affects me and my family is that while I am still required to go to work like normal, I am not currently receiving a paycheck. The last monies received was Dec 31st. And from then on I will not receive a paycheck for time worked until the government reopens. The president has already said he could go months, or even a year under this shutdown. Until this shutdown ends, each day funds are getting more and more tight and will eventually run out and I will no longer be able to pay rent or utilities and buy food. Any amount you are willing to donate will be greatly appreciated. Again. Thank you for your time whether you donate or not!

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From a worker named Kinata Holt in Missouri:

I am a single mom of 6 children who depend solely on me. As a veteran and federal employee my only income has been stopped do to the government shutdown. I have sought and exhausted all other resources but they have not been enough to keep up with my bills or my children needs. I am not sure when will be able to return to work and I am merely asking for those who can to please help with a monetary donation of your choice.- A mom in need.... God Bless

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From a TSA worker named Celia Handwohl in Florida:

It’s starting to get scary! Still obligated to work but not getting paid is not going to cut it for the bill collectors. Right now I’m sick but as soon as I’m better, it’s back to work. There was medicine and dr visit. I need help! I don’t think creditors will be compassionate to our plight.

Please help me.... Mortgage, Food, Electric, Gas, the little things that we really take for granted when we are working and getting paid. I’m trying to contact creditors but they aren’t all that receptive.

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From government worker Donna Lewis in San Antonio, Texas:

Some of you know, a few years back, i started working for the Federal Government. When doing so, i reduced my pay by $25K. But felt the benefits, long term, would be greater and better, for me. It has definitely been life changing, and a very humbling experience. I worked two jobs, for the first time in my life, and some days, from 8am to 12 midnite. I worked long hours but still managed to deplete my savings, just to stay afloat. After being promoted in 2017, even though i had yet to regain all of the 25K that was lost, for health reasons, i went back to working one job and let the part time job go.

As you know, our Government is closed and presently, my pay has been reduced to no income at all.

Those who know my work ethic, know, i am a hard worker, who strives to be the best in every position i have ever held... and if i could obtain ‘easy’ employment right now, just for income, i would. However, landing a job, while federally employed, with my agency, needs prior approval, which wont happen overnight. Meanwhile, life, ie bills, do not stop.

At present, i am humbly asking for your generosity, in donating whatever you can, to help out during this very difficult time for me. Your contribution, whatever the amount, will absolutely mean the world to me.

I truly appreciate each and everyone of you, who have reached out to me so far. Your kind words, support, and generosity, are a Blessing.

For any future support and contributions, thank you in advance from the bottom of my heart, your kindness is truly a gift from God.

Thank you so much friends and family. ❤️❤️

From Kalvin Ch in Flushing, New York:

I am in a hardship during this government shutdown. I am not asking alot just need gas and some money for can foods to get thru these weeks during government shutdown as there is no paycheck coming forth. God bless you all!

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And from two young boys in Seattle who started a GoFundMe campaign to help their mother:

As many are aware the president has called for a government shutdown.

I am 14 years old who is in 8th grade and my brother is 12 years old who is in the 6th grade. What the president does not know, my mommy is not a democrat or a republican she is an independent. An independent mom who works for the federal government. My mom is a single mom of 2 boys trying to make ends meet. My mom does not get help from the state, she works really hard to provide for me and my brother. She raises us to know that education is #1. She is a strong independent woman. The last few weeks have been really hard. My mom 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. My brother and I came up with an idea... If we can get help, we can help our mom for a couple of weeks so she doesn’t have to go on unemployment, she mentioned she has to pay all loans and unemployment back and i know that will be just another stress for her.

My mom needs new glasses for the new year because she lost her old pair. Shes afraid to go to the doctor because she will have to pay. I think its kind of funny, that my mom now ask me to read whats on the TV, or hands me a piece of paper and say “ Robert read this”. Prescription Meds, I know she has not picked up. Gas, to pick us up for school. Rent, her bills. We need lunch money and groceries for our home. My little brother drinks 2 gallons a week, cause hes a growing boy and he loves cereal. My mom has given her life to the country and has worked for the government for the last 10 years. i feel so sad for her.

My mom cant get a second job because we are her second job. She picks us up and drops us off to school everyday and also take us to our sports every day.

My brother and I are reaching out to the world to see if we can raise enough money so that she doesn’t have to worry anymore. We just want her to relax and know that everything will be okay, despite her job in jeopardy.

Thank you world for reading this.

God Bless Everyone as they go through this difficult time in America!

Signed,

Robert & Tris

And those are just a few of the hundreds of accounts that have been created in the wake of the shutdown. There are countless more stories like these that are being shared every single day as people try to figure out how they’re going to live in the midst of this crisis.

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The government shutdown is completely unnecessary, to say the least. But it’s causing pain and suffering across the country and people need help. When society fails them, people of the 21st century now turn to our era’s version of panhandling, the crowdfunding campaign.

If you have a few extra bucks, why not search GoFundMe for the words “government shutdown” and see if there’s anyone you can help? It’s incredibly sad to read through the hundreds of campaigns that have been set up in the past few weeks, but these people didn’t do anything wrong. They just had the misfortune of working for the government when an amoral asshole was president.

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About the author

Matt Novak

Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog