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How you can help local Coast Guard families who are going without paychecks

WSBT 22 photos

Some local federal workers are bracing to miss their paycheck because of the shutdown.

Local Coast Guard families are feeling the impact.

Approximately 30 Coast Guard members in St. Joseph, Michigan are working every day without pay.

Their next paycheck is supposed to come Tuesday, but if the shutdown continues they won't get it.

Thankfully people in the community are helping the families. And you can as well. If you'd like to make a donation, visit this link: http://www.cgmahq.org/

The Coast Guard does a lot for our country, but since it falls under the Department of Homeland Security, they're working without pay.

“This thing needs to get figured out and the funding needs to get allocated so the Coast Guard can pay their members. It’s an active duty military branch,” said Valerie Gehrke.

Gehrke is a wife of one St. Joe's Coast Guard members. She says it's hitting her family pretty hard, not knowing when the money will start coming in again.

It's even worrying her son, whose birthday is right around the corner.

“He’s like, ‘Mom, this means we’re probably not going to be able to do anything for my birthday, huh?’”

Others are just as concerned. Josey Klain is newly married and had to reach into savings to pay her rent at the beginning of the month.

“It’s nerve-racking because now we are not quite sure if we are going to get paid for this next paycheck.”

Uncertainty that continues affecting hundreds of thousands across the country.

The US Coast Guard sent a letter to furloughed workers with tips on how to make money, including dog walking and babysitting.

“Have a garage sale and things of that nature, but this is Michigan and January and we just had a pretty big snow,” said Gehrke.

Thankfully, the local Coast Guard members live in a community that's offering to help. Local restaurants offering free meals, and people donating money and gift cards.

“It’s just absolutely amazing for the people who have reached out and wanted to help,” said Klain.

Gehrke says this is not the first time she experienced the effects of a government shutdown. She says she uses the power of faith to get her through these times of uncertainty.


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