Local groups offer assistance to federal workers during shutdown

PORT ANGELES — The Clallam County Democrats are the most recent group of North Olympic Peninsula residents to announce action to help federal workers affected by the partial government shutdown, which enters its 32nd day today.

During the shutdown, which began Dec. 22, some 800,000 federal workers are not being paid nationwide, with about 530 of those living in Clallam and Jefferson counties — some working without pay and some furloughed.

The shutdown is due to an impasse between President Donald Trump and Congress. Trump says he won’t sign a spending bill unless it includes more than $5 billion for a wall on the southern border and Congressional Democrats say they won’t pass that amount of funding for a wall.

Some agencies received funding in a bill approved in September. Among those not included in that package are personnel with national parks and the Coast Guard.

The county Democrats are soliciting non-perishable food items, cash, checks or grocery store gift cards for area federal employees who are living without income.

Food items and checks, payable to the Port Angeles Food Bank, will be delivered to the food bank, which does not distribute cash or gift cards.

Gift cards, cash and checks will be given to the Chief Petty Officer’s Association for distribution to Coast Guard employees. The nonprofit has limited storage for food items.

Donations can be dropped off at the Clallam County Democratic headquarters, 124-A W. First St., Port Angeles, between 11a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Potential donors who lack transportation can contact clallamdemocrats.org to arrange for pick-up of the donation.

Food, gift cards or cash also can be donated directly to the nonprofit organization.

Coast Guard

To donate to the Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association (CPOA), go to https://squareup.com/store/portangelescpoa.

For a donation receipt with the CPOA tax ID number, send your mailing address to portangeles [email protected] or include address in customer notes section of your shopping cart.

Donations are also accepted by personal check. They can be sent to Port Angeles CPOA, PO Box 632, Port Angeles WA 98362.

Here are other resources available to federal workers who are without pay now.

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army at at 123 S. Peabody St., in Port Angeles will provide toys for children celebrating birthdays during the shutdown.

Toys are available for infants to children 12 years old.

Parents or guardians need to bring documentation — federal employee ID card, proof of residency in Clallam County and proof of the child’s birth date — to The Salvation Army during the month of their child’s birthday.

Toys are leftover from the Christmas distribution, said Major Barbara Wenhau, co-director of The Salvation Army in Port Angeles, “and we are happy to share them with local families who need some additional support at this time.”

The service is available at The Salvation Army’s social service/administrative building from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mondays.

For more information, call 360-452-7679.


Area banks offered assistance to federal workers include 1st Security Bank of Washington, Bank of America, First Federal, Key Bank, Kitsap Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Sound Community Bank, Union Bank, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo.

Assistance may include fee reversals and waivers.

Contact local banks to see what assistance is available.

Also Wells Fargo has donated $250,000 to United Way Worldwide for local communities.

Pet shop

Patricia’s Pet Shop in Port Angeles is offering to help Coast Guard families who are unable to pay for pet food.

“If anyone needs pet food or rodent food, we’ll make sure they’ll leave here with it,” said Donnie Honeycutt, manager. When they get paid they can pay us back.”

Martial arts studio

Phoenix Dragon Martial Arts in Port Angeles, is not charging students whose families have been affected by the shutdown.

Meghan Ventura, who owns the business with her husband David said that their students are family and that it’s the one way they could think of to help out.

Hospital employees

In an effort not associated with Olympic Medical Center, medical staff at the hospital have been putting together funds to get gift cards so Coast Guard families can afford food.

School district

The Port Angeles School District is urging families affected by the partial federal government shutdown to apply for free and reduced meals.

On the application, families can list their current financial status, said M. Patsene Dashiell, district spokeswoman.

The district’s free/reduced meal application is located on the District website at www.portangelesschools.org under Departments, Food Services.

For further assistance, contact Dashiell at [email protected] or 360-565-3703.

Cafe drinks

The Farm’s Reach Cafe is offering a free 12-ounce drink to each federal employee who comes in, said Arianna Patterson, co-owner with her husband B.G., of the cafe at 8972 Beaver Valley Road.

“We want to make sure that normal mornings are still normal,” she said.

No proof of employment is necessary. It’s on the honor system, Patterson said.

Dinner invitation

For its monthly community dinner, Trinity United Methodist Church in Sequim is extending a special welcome to federal employees and others affected by the partial shutdown, according to a press release.

The free dinner will be served at 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, at the church, 100 S. Blake Ave.

Reservations are required and may be made by calling the church at 360-683-5367 between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on the Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday before the dinner or by email to [email protected].

The meal includes meatballs, mashed potatoes, vegetables, carrot-raisin salad, dessert and beverages.

The church presents the dinners on the last Thursday of each month.

More offering help?

Anyone offering assistance to federal workers impacted by the ongoing shutdown, now the longest in the nation’s history, are urged to contact Leah Leach, Peninsula Daily News executive editor, at 360-417-3530 or [email protected].

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