Local officials organize aid for Coast Guard families affected by shutdown

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Local officials organize aid for Coast Guard families affected by shutdown

Art by Fisher LeVasseur

Art by Fisher LeVasseur

Fisher LeVasseur

Art by Fisher LeVasseur

Fisher LeVasseur

Fisher LeVasseur

Art by Fisher LeVasseur

FISHER LEVASSEUR, Staff Writer

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The longest government shutdown in history has entered its twenty-fifth day with no end in sight. The drastic effects of the shutdown are being felt all throughout the country especially within the families of the nearly 800,000 federal employees who have been out of work, or those who have been working without pay for nearly a month.

The shutdown only affects certain departments of the government. One of the biggest is the Department of Homeland Security which oversees the operation of the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard, in turn, is the only military branch currently working without pay.

Coast Guard Station Gloucester is no exception to this. Here in town, nearly 150 spouses and family members of those who serve on the base are being heavily impacted by the shutdown.

In an effort to aid those service members who may be facing difficulties caused by the shutdown, a recent meeting between city officials, state representatives, and members of the Coast Guard has outlined a plan for assisting those in need.

Directly from the Mayor’s Office:

Gift Card Donations: Gift cards to specific stores such as grocery stores, gas stations, general merchandise (Target or Walmart) and monetary gift cards (Visa, American Express or Mastercard) in any denomination are needed. These can be dropped off in Gloucester or sent to American Legion Post 3, P.O. Box 122. Gloucester, MA 01931-0122, VFW Post 1624 or The Open Door, 28 Emerson Avenue, Gloucester, MA 01930.

Monetary Donations: Monetary donations (check or cash) will be collected at the VFW, American Legion Post 3, P.O. Box 122, Gloucester, MA 01931-0122, Cape Ann Veterans’ Services, The Open Door, 28 Emerson Avenue, Gloucester, MA 01930 or at the Gloucester Fund (45 Middle Street, Gloucester MA). As a reminder, any monetary donations must include a reference USCG.

The full statement can be found here:

https://goodmorninggloucester.org/2019/01/16/implications-of-government-shutdown-on-members-families-of-the-u-s-coast-guard/

Along with the Department of Homeland Security, funding for the Department of Commerce has also ceased, directly impacting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

With Gloucester being home to the NOAA Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, all of these employees have been furloughed as well.

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