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Community stepping up to help Coast Guard families affected in Government shutdown

Posted at 5:37 PM, Jan 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-18 18:57:55-05


It’s now day 28 of the partial government shutdown, the bills are piling up for members of the U.S. Coast Guard.

“No one in the Coast Guard is receiving a check,” says USO South Texas executive director Sara Banta.

Banta, says families are starting to feel the impact.

“First two weeks, people are usually okay, but once you start getting into that third week,” says Banta.

The USO is partnering with the Coastal Bend Food Bank, providing a temporary food bank.

“There are civilians that work with the Coast Guard as well, they’ve actually gone longer without a paycheck,” says Banta.

Regardless, government employees are driving to work every day.

“We still have a job to do, no matter if we’re getting paid or not getting paid,” says U.S. Coast Guard  service member Brendan Mattingly.

Mattingly says many are picking up side jobs.

“Uber, Favor, or Dash, something like that, just quick and easy,” says Mattingly.

While it helps, Mattingly says it barely scratches the surface.

“It’s been rough, missed payments and stuff that we normally do make,” says Mattingly.

Management at Baytree Ocean Drive Apartments are lending a hand, allowing government workers to pay rent once they get paid.

They are also collecting gift cards.

“Walmart gift cards, H-E-B, Stripes, for gas to get them to work,” says manager Mary Ceja.

The USO South Texas is also accepting gift cards and monetary donations. Banta says they will be providing small grants to families with the most need.

“They’re the biggest heroes when you’re out in the water, and you’re in trouble,” says Banta.

Gift cards can be dropped off at Baytree Ocean Drive Apartments located on 4645 Ocean Dr.

To donate to the USO, visit their website.