Whitney Bowman-Zatzkin

One can quickly become consumed with the collateral damage of the government shutdown. The NASA interns displaced from their housing in California, the mother delayed from receiving possibly lifesaving treatment, the DC residents going with reduced mental health services…it is easy to become discouraged and frustrated.

Though some have mentioned wishing they could volunteer for their jobs so the projects didn’t let people down, it’s worth noting that furloughed Federal workers cannot volunteer during the furlough. True to that steadfast commitment to public service, many Federal workers are facing this furlough with compassion and have busied themselves by diving into coordinated activities to better their community, including:

  • In Virginia, Carpenter’s Shelter created a day of service last Tuesday for furloughed employees to assist with yard work or helping in the kitchen and one federal employee faced her furlough by gathering these volunteer opportunities and encouraging everyone to use the time for service.

Others are finishing “honey do” lists or participating in MOOCs to brush up their skills or learn something new. When facing challenging circumstances and wondering every day if they will return to their offices the next day or see a paycheck next pay day, our humble Federal employees continue to demonstrate their dedication and commitment to public service by doing something on behalf of others. May we all be inspired by their actions and contribute our own.

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