For a lot of folks in DC, this month means something a little different. The government shutdown isn’t just a headline here. We feel it in our traffic patterns. We see it on our neighbor’s faces. We sense it in our coffee shops. While the federal government may be venturing into uncharted territory, it’s heartening to see our neighboring communities coming together by offering to help with free yoga classes, haircuts, food, and extended hours and policies.
It’s hard to ignore the impact of the government shutdown, which is affecting so many neighbors, friends, and family. Here are a few ways you can help:
Donate to your area food bank. Food banks across the country are extending hours and offerings to support furloughed employees and their families. Your donation could help several families bridge the gap. (Psst: This is a great way to get the kids involved!).
Host a potluck. Whether you call it a “Furlough Feast” or a “Shutdown Smorgasbord”, combined meals are a great excuse to lighten the mood while seeing and supporting friends and neighbors.
Offer to listen. We’re entering into uncertain times for many families, and this is when friendships are often needed most. Remind your friends that you’re here for them!
Suggest ways you’d be happy to pitch in. Instead of asking your furloughed friends how you can help, suggest ways you’d love to lighten the load. A weeknight dinner, free babysitting, a comforting text or a funny GIF—all are supportive ways to show them they can lean into you.
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