DAVE & DUJANOVIC

More than 1,500 GoFundMe pages have been set up by furloughed federal workers

Jan 16, 2019, 2:36 PM
GoFundMe Campaigns...
More than 1,500 GoFundMe campaigns have been set up by federal workers since the partial government shutdown began. (Photo: Alberto Mier/CNN)
(Photo: Alberto Mier/CNN)

For 25 days now, the longest federal government shutdown in history has been dragging on, leaving more than 800,000 federal workers either furloughed from their jobs or forced to work without pay.

For the men and women affected, the struggle to pay rent and buy groceries without a salary has been an incredible challenge. And as the weeks drag on with no end in sight, some of them have turned to an unusual option for help.

More than 1,500 federal workers have set up GoFundMe accounts, asking for money on the internet to make sure that they cover their rent.

1,500 GoFundMe campaigns in 25 days

Federal contract worker Julie Burr talks to CNN about the GoFundMe account she set up to make ends meet through the shutdown. (Video courtesy of CNN)Campaigns from federal workers have flooded the GoFundMe website. At this moment, it’s the very first thing you’ll see, right on their very front page, where a campaign called “Chefs for Feds” promising to feed federal workers in D.C. is posted as an “urgent cause”.

It isn’t just charitable organizations, though, that are asking for money. Individual workers have taken to the site, looking for enough money to make their rents or to cover the handful of paychecks they’ll miss while Congress fights it out.

Some have been huge successes. One set up by a woman named Julie Burr received an outpouring of support after she appeared on CNN talking about her struggles and, at this time, has raised $12,045.

Another furloughed worker, librarian Anna Cory, got national attention when she held what she called a “Government Shutdown Yard Sale,” selling antique books from her private collection to rustle up enough change for groceries. Cory capitalized on the attention with a GoFundMe, which, to date, has raised $5,098.

Their stories surely helped inspire the 1,500 other workers who took to the site in hopes a few generous souls will be willing send over a thousand dollars or two.

But as much money as a couple of lucky cases have been able to bring in, for most, GoFundMe has hardly been able to replace a steady paycheck. Not every worker gets attention on the news, and for plenty of furloughed workers, GoFundMe has been a dry well.

A local furloughed worker in Henrieville who has offered to send coffee and photographs in exchange for donations has only been able to raise $630, while a Utah TSA agent had yet to raise a single dime when this story was published.

Those other hundreds of thousands of workers who haven’t been able to convince the public to send them money online have been forced to resort to other measures.

Desperate times and desperate measures

Anna Corry

Anna Corry appears on CNN, discussing the Government Shutdown Yard Sale she set up to make ends meet during the shutdown. (Photo: Anna Corry/GoFundMe/CNN)

Thousands of furloughed federal employees have been forced to apply for unemployment to make it through the shutdown. In the Washington D.C. area alone, more than 9,000 federal workers have already applied.

Unemployment checks, however, aren’t meant to cover the standard of living most full-time federal workers have locked themselves into. In D.C., the checks are capped at $425 a week; not quite enough to pay the $2,072 needed to pay rent for an average apartment.

To cover those extra bills, some have turned to quick solutions with long-term side effects. The Washington Post reports that many have started dipping into their retirement plans early, taking a 10 percent penalty fee and added taxes so they can pay bills today with money they’d saved for tomorrow.

Others are taking out loans. Some banks have even set up special programs promising quick, one-time loans for furloughed federal employees.

The Navy Federal Credit Union, for example, is offering a one-time loan of up to $6,000 for anyone who has been pushed out of work by the shutdown. The money, though, has to be repaid back fast; as soon as money starts coming back in, the bank will automatically take its repayment from their paycheck.

Whatever the means, federal workers are finding ways to make ends meet. It’s hard to say, though, how long these options will hold them over until the shutdown ends.

Dave & Dujanovic weigh in

KSL Newsradio’s Dave & Dujanovic talked about the surge of federal worker GoFundMe accounts on the air and their best tips to make sure that you have enough money put aside to keep this from happening to you. If you missed the show live, you can still catch everything they had to say on the Dave & Dujanovic podcast:

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon on KSL Newsradio. Users can find the show on the KSL Newsradio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

affordable care actaffordable care act

Today’s Top Stories

Dave & Dujanovic

...
Curt Gresseth

Former U.S. Attorney for Utah talks about what FBI can take off your cellphone

A legal expert joined Dave and Dujanovic to discuss how the FBI can obtain evidence of a crime from a cellphone.
2 days ago
centerville arson fire...
Curt Gresseth

What’s behind random acts of violence in Utah?

What's behind a recent spate of random violence in Uta?. A sleeping couple at home in West Valley City is stabbed by an intruder. A stranger enters a home with three elderly people in Centerville and burns it down. Greg Skordas, KSL legal analyst breaks down what he thinks is motivating young people to commit random acts of violence.
3 days ago
Government contractors erect a section of Pentagon-funded border wall along the Colorado River. (AP...
Curt Gresseth

Yuma mayor talks about migrants illegally crossing into city: US has the laws to fix problem

An Arizona mayor talks with Dave & Dujanovic about migrants coming into the country illegally. He says the U.S. has the laws to fix the problems.
4 days ago
BYU study COVID money...
Elizabeth Weiler

Utah’s young adults being launched into the world of financial responsibility

Because young adults are rarely in personal high-income situations, they are categorized as low-income, making them at higher risk for credit card debt. 
4 days ago
EUGENE, OR - SEPTEMBER 17: The line of scrimmage between the Oregon Ducks and the Brigham Young Cou...
Curt Gresseth

Reporter talks about ugly chant from students at BYU-Oregon game

A Deseret News reporter tat the BYU-Oregon football game on Saturday talks about the anti-LDS chant heard and filmed from the student section and what may happen next.
5 days ago
a tax form, 1040, is often used to file taxes...
Curt Gresseth

Americans pay more in taxes than food, clothing, education and health care — combined

On average in 2021, American consumer units spent $15,495 on food, clothing and healthcare combined, less than the $16,729 spent on taxes, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. Debbie thinks the figures are low. Dave said the report from the Bureau is a good example to show much Americans pay in taxes.
9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
More than 1,500 GoFundMe pages have been set up by furloughed federal workers