Atlanta Public Schools announced an effort to raise $25,000 for families affected by the partial federal government shutdown, which began Dec. 22.
The school district estimates that between 300 to 500 of its employees may have a spouse, partner or member of their household who is employed by a federal agency that hasn’t been able to pay its workers because of the shutdown.
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The school district on Tuesday said it had launched a fundraising drive through its philanthropic arm, Atlanta Partners for Education, to help those affected.
The GoFundMe donation drive has a goal of raising $25,000. So far, it has received more than $2,500 in donations, including $1,500 from Superintendent Meria Carstarphen and $500 from the Christian Coleman Foundation.
"Many federal employees and contractors, some of them family members of APS employees, are facing the impacts of the federal government shutdown, and we want to do all we can to help,” said Carstarphen, in a written statement. “A vast majority of Americans simply can’t make it very long without receiving their regular paychecks. We want to do all we can to help bridge the gap for our employees who need that assistance."
The school district also encouraged furloughed spouses of APS employees to work as substitute teachers for the district. More information on substitute teaching can be found at this website.
On Tuesday night, dozens of furloughed and affected federal employees showed up to an East Point church to get groceries and help with their unpaid bills.
Some of them told Channel 2's Alyssa Hyman they had to borrow gas money just to get there.
"I have been called back to work but I can't afford to take the hour drive and gas and now im here at a food bank trying to feed my children," one woman said.
It was all thanks to churches that are part of the South Fulton Ministerial Alliance. But the donations only go so far.
The church's main message is to reopen the government.
"These federal workers are trapped in a political tug of war and it's a shame. Something must be done. This is only putting a Band-Aid on a bullet wound," a person with the church said.