GoFundMe launches 'Government Shutdown Direct Relief Fund' for federal workers
© Getty

Crowdfunding website GoFundMe on Saturday launched the "Government Shutdown Direct Relief Fund" to help federal workers impacted the by the ongoing shutdown. 

CEO Rob Solomon announced the initiative in a statement, saying that donations would be "distributed to several nonprofit organizations across the country offering direct assistance to government workers."

ADVERTISEMENT

"These nonprofits are doing important work, providing hot meals, necessary counseling, and housing relief. I encourage everyone to support them," Solomon said, noting that the crowdfunding campaign was launched in partnership with author and speaker Deepak Chopra. 

Solomon added that celebrity chef José Andrés' nonprofit would be among the first to receive funds. Andres had fed about 12,000 furloughed federal workers at his temporary kitchen in Washington, D.C.

"Government workers, through no fault of their own, can’t afford to put diapers on their newborns," Solomon said in the release. "Employees of the most powerful nation in the world are being forced to work without pay and line up at diaper or food banks. It makes no sense."
 
The fund had raised more than $63,691 from over 670 donors as of Sunday evening. Its goal is to raise $75,000. 
 
The government shutdown, which was triggered on Dec. 22 after Democratic and Republican lawmakers failed to reach an agreement on a new Congressional spending bill, has impacted about 800,000 federal workers.
 
President TrumpDonald John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' MORE last week signed a bill guaranteeing back-pay to federal workers furloughed, but the shutdown has raised concerns about workers unable to pay current bills. 
 
Huffington Post reported that more than 1,500 GoFundMe campaigns have been upstarted by federal workers.
 
In addition to GoFundMe, other organizations have launched efforts to aide furloughed federal workers. PayPal CEO Dan Schulman announced that the company would provide up to $25 million in interest-free cash advances to help federal workers going without pay.