LIVERPOOL TWP. –– A group of Buckeye parents and residents is working to put on a spaghetti dinner to raise money for those who are struggling during the government shutdown.
“A friend of mine … came up the idea,” said Liz Wolff, co-organizer. “She wanted to do something to help. I’ve done fish fries in the past for Boy Scouts so with my kind of knowledge of being able to do dinners and her idea, we kind of joined forces to try and pull this off quickly.”
The spaghetti dinner will take place from 5-8 p.m. Tuesday at the York United Methodist Church, 6566 Norwalk Road.
Admission to the event is donation based, however, there is not minimum amount required.
“If someone can only afford a $5 donation, that’s fine by us. If somebody can’t afford anything and just wants to come that’s fine, too,” said Wolff. “It’s more about just creating a sense of community.”
There will also be raffle tickets for sale so that a variety of gift baskets can be auctioned off. So far, donations have poured in from a variety of local businesses and people. Some of the baskets and prizes include a P.J. Marley’s gift certificate, a basket donated by the Buckeye Community Center and a basket containing some Thirty-One gifts and products.
All of the money raised from the event will go to families in the area impacted by the government shutdown, which enters its 28th day today.
“We know that, just because our jobs are secure right now that doesn’t mean that everyone else is. We really feel like it’s an obligation and a duty for us to take care of those around us,” said Wolff. “
The whole entire situation stinks and we are glad that it doesn’t affect us, but we want to make sure that those who it does affect are taken care of.”
Dinner organizers are not the only ones thinking of local federal workers who are either furloughed or working without pay.
West Salem-based Farmers State Bank is offering a zero-percent interest line of credit, with no fees, to workers for as long as the shutdown continues. The offer is available to affected federal employees who currently reside in Medina, Ashland and Wayne counties and are current bank customers.
Nationally, thousands of federal employees and their families are applying for unemployment and food stamps to get by as the longest government shutdown in U.S. history drags on with no end in sight.
The U.S. Labor Department on Thursday reported that the number of furloughed federal employees seeking unemployment benefits has jumped, from fewer than a thousand per week before the shutdown to more than 10,000 during the week that ended Jan. 5.
The nearly 4-week-old stalemate over President Donald Trump’s demand for funding for a border wall affects about 800,000 employees. When it started, roughly 420,000 were told to work without being paid, and 380,000 others were sent home with no pay. Some of those numbers have shifted in the past week as agencies such as the IRS have called tens of thousands back to work.
Trump signed legislation Wednesday to guarantee employees will be given back pay once the shutdown ends.
For more information on the event or to request financial assistance, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a request form.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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