Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres surprised two federal workers with a sizable gift to help make ends meet as the ongoing partial government shutdown entered its 28th day on Friday.

Maryland-based federal employees Nikki Howard and her sister, Jaqi Wright, appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Friday, opening up about how they began baking and selling cheesecakes last month to pay their bills after they were furloughed in the shutdown.

“My mom said, ‘This is so good, you could sell it,’” Wright told DeGeneres. “And I sat up straight, I’m like, ‘Ding, ding, ding!’ We can sell it, sister!"

DeGeneres then surprised the pair by placing her own order for one of the sisters' cheesecakes.


"They said, 'do whatever you want with $20,000,' and I said, 'now that's to buy one cheesecake,' " DeGeneres said, displaying a $20,000 check, courtesy of General Mills cereal brand, Cheerios.

"So that's $20,000, and you send me one cheesecake," she added. "I love cheesecake."

The two women, known as the Furlough Cheesecake Sisters, take most of their business through social media. The duo's business took off following a slate of media reports, and the sisters are now reportedly struggling to keep up with demand.

Trump and the Democratic-controlled House have battled for weeks over the shutdown, which was triggered by the president's demand for more than $5 billion in funding for a border wall.

The fight intensified this week with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urging Trump to put off the State of the Union address and Trump responding by preventing congressional delegations from traveling overseas on military flights during the shutdown.