Shutdown Assistance: An Updating List

Free Programs and Items for Those Affected by #GovernmentShutdown2019

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Volunteers package diapers DC Diaper bank in March 2018. GDCDB is providing diapers to workers affected by the shutdown. Photo: Courtesy GDCDB

Guide to Rebuilding Credit for Formerly Furloughed Workers

In a recent survey, forty-nine percent of federal workers or their spouses admitted to falling behind on their bills as a result of the recent 35-day government shutdown, which can have a negative impact on credit. Creditcards.com created a new guide to help federal employees affected by the government shutdown recover from any financial setbacks that may have hurt their credit. It provides a wide range of financial tips that those recovering from the shutdown that many may find helpful, including:

  • Recovering from negative credit marks
  • Evaluating each individual’s current financial circumstances
  • Preparing for unexpected financial situations in the future

Find the guide online at:https://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/rebuild-credit-after-government-shutdown.php

#Shutdown Meals

Hill resident Allison McGill is organizing carry-out dinners for families affected by the government shutdown, including federal employees and contractors but also workers such as nannies, Uber drivers, security personnel and janitors.

The next shutdown meals will be distributed starting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24 at Hype Cafe (1129 Pennsylvania Ave. SE). Just RSVP with a story of how the furlough is affecting you and your family to shutdownmeals@gmail.com

Diapers for Coast Guard, Federal Workers

The Greater DC Diaper Bank is partnering with World Central Kitchen and the Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association (CPOA) to distribute diapers to families directly affected by the government shutdown.

From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., diapers will be distributed at the Greater DC Diaper Bank Warehouse (8858 Monard Dr., Silver Spring, MD). 100 diapers per child will be given to families presenting Coast Guard i.d. and a birth certificate for each child.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan 23, 24, and 25 the non-profit will distribute diapers and feminine products at the World Central Kitchen (701 Pennsylvania Avenue NW). The Diaper Bank said it expects to distribute more than 200,000 diapers directly from their inventory.

“This wasn’t in our plans and it isn’t our budget, but thousands of families need our help now,” the Diaper Bank wrote on social media.

Free Kraft Groceries

The Kraft Company, makers of the famous macaroni and cheese, has opened a pop-up grocery store near Union Market. The ‘Kraft Now, Pay Later’ Store at 1287 Fourth St. NE offers federal workers to present i.d. and fill a bag with groceries like Kraft Mac & Cheese and Kraft Singles. “Once the situation gets back to normal, if you can pay it back we would ask you to pay it forward to your favorite charity,” Kraft said.

The pop-up is scheduled to be open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily at least until Sunday, Jan. 27 but is closed Jan. 21 for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.

Free Programs for Furloughed Feds at Hill Center

The Hill Center DC (921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) is offering free programs for furloughed employees that they hope will help take the minds of workers off the shutdown stress for a few minutes. All the below are free for furloughed federal workers, and friends are welcome to register as well!

To register for free, furloughed employees can email programs@hillcenterdc.org.

Kids Concert + Family Happy Hour with King Bullfrog
Friday, January 25 @ 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

King Bullfrog will entertain all with their blend of high-energy original folk and blues songs designed to get kids up and moving and lift the mood of all adults.

The show is free for furloughed federal employees and their children, as is your first glass of wine or beer. Meet new friends, or gather your crowd for a good time.

Patterns: The Art of Zentangle
Sunday, February 3 @ 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The Zentangle Method is an easy, fun and relaxing way to create beautiful images through structured patterns. They are fun to create and considered by many to be very therapeutic. Pens and Bristol board will be provided, and you will learn to continue work on your own.

Basic Drawing Techniques: Drawing From an Image
Tuesdays, February 5-February 26 @ 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

This course is for adults who want to draw but don’t know where to start. Over the three-day course, learn basic drawing skills and techniques. All materials are provided, except the image you will choose yourself to draw from.

The art classes are taught by local DC Artist Christine Vineyard. Vineyard works with all mediums with a concentration in photography, drawing, and painting. She has worked with all ages from preschool to adults and is excited about sharing her knowledge and love of art with others.

Healthy Fresh Meals Delivered, Free
Meal prep delivery service Healthy Fresh Meals wants to do their part in helping furloughed government employees with free meals during this difficult time with the shutdown.
Founders, Shana Greenbaum and Luba Hansen are both former USDA contractors, and know how hard it can be on people not receiving paychecks. Both went through two shutdowns when they were working at USDA, and are still in touch with many former colleagues who have not seen a paycheck in weeks.
Healthy Fresh Meals wants to offer 5 FREE meals (each) to the first 150 employees, and a discount of 25% off for everyone that can provide a government ID and proof of not working during the shutdown.
Workers can contact Healthy FreshMeals via a special email set up for this: HFMShutdown@gmail.com

Free Lunch Saturdays for Kids

The District government, through the DC Department of Parks and Recreation, offers all kids under 18 free lunch from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays at any one of ten DPR rec centers. No registration or identification or necessary –kids just need to show up. See the full list here.

Free Pizza at &Pizza

From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. every day, government employees with valid government ID can get a free pizza.

Free Coffee

Show your government ID and get free coffee at District Doughnut (749 Eighth St. SE, open 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily) and at Hype Cafe (1129 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily)

Learn a Language

Rosetta Stone is offering Federal Workers a free 3-month standard Rosetta Stone online subscription to learn a new language. Email expandyourworld@rosettastone.com and include the name of the government department or agency you work for. Offer good until Jan. 31. More info at rosettastone.com

Learn an Instrument with Music on the Hill

Music on the Hill (801 D St. NE) wants furloughed federal workers and their friends to play away some shutdown stress with a free group music class every Wednesday at 1:30, going until the government reopens. On Wednesday, January 16, attend ‘Getting Started On Ukulele.’

Every week will feature a different instrument and teacher, but these things will remain the same: they will be completely free to everyone, and you can always borrow an instrument.

Why not take some time to explore a new musical skill?

Music on the Hill is open 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Visit their website for more information on lessons and the instrument chosen for the Wednesday furlough lesson.

Free Women’s Bar Association Programs

The Women’s Bar Association (WBA) announced on Twitter that they are offering all programs free to federal employees, including a One-Year Review of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and Amping Up Your Resume and Job Interview Techniques. Sign up online.

Banks, Utilities, Phone

Many financial institutions, utilities and phone companies have pledged to work with federal and impacted workers to find solutions until the shutdown is over. Find an updating list on these here.

Museums and Theatre

Museums and Theatres are also looking to entertain during the shutdown. Check out that list here

This list is updating. To add items or events, please email liz@hillrag.com or dm @hillragdc on Twitter