A large number of federal workers are toiling without pay this week, or have been furloughed and won’t get a check It has put a severe crimp in the family finances for those folks. To help them buy food or fuel for their vehicles, which are need to get to work despite not getting a pay check, groups around Ottawa County are seeking donations of $20 gift cards for them.
“We’re asking people to buy gift cards with a maximum value of $20 and drop them off at various locations,” said Marblehead’s council president, John Starcher. “We’ll make sure they’re evenly distributed. Residents should remember the big stores are not the only ones who offer gift cards, so keep independent merchants in mind, too.”
It may surprise some residents to find how many federal workers around Ottawa County need assistance right now.
“There are 48 members of the U.S. Coast Guard who need some assistance, almost 100 who work for Homeland Security, the Border Patrol and Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, with more at the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge or Camp Perry, the Ohio National Guard installation here,” said Stacy Maple, Executive Director of Bistro 163 in the Sutton Plaza in Port Clinton and the voice off Maple in the Morning on WPCR and WPIB radio, which is promoting the largesse.
Bistro 163 and Community Support Services, both in Sutton Place on Buckeye Blvd., Port Clinton, are accepting donated gift cards. So are Starcher’s Marblehead hardware store, Village PRO Hardware, 802 W. Main St., Marblehead, and Jamestown Tavern, 902 W. Main St., Marblehead.
Cash donations can be made up to $2,000. They should be payable to the Great Lakes Chapter Chief Warrant Officer Association, the Greater Detroit Petty Officer Association and the Coast Guard Mutual Assistance. The movement is also seeking non-perishable food items and hygiene products, including toilet paper, shampoo and more.