The longest federal government shutdown is entering its fourth week, and there is no end in sight. The partial shutdown effects an estimated 800,000 federal employees who have missed at least one paycheck since the shutdown occurred Dec. 22. Twenty-four of those workers are located at the U.S. Coast Guard’s base in Boothbay Harbor.
So far, the Boothbay region is assisting Coast Guard families struggling financially due to the economic hardship caused by the 28-day plus shutdown. On Jan. 5, the Congregational Church of Boothbay Harbor provided Coast Guardsmen with Hannaford gift cards. The Boothbay Region Community Resource Council is offering fuel assistance and gas money for guardsmen. And the Boothbay Region Food Pantry issued a special invitation for families in need of groceries. There are also donation boxes at the Boothbay Region YMCA and in local businesses.
Two more civic groups are supporting guardsmen this weekend with a community pasta supper fundraiser. The local Congregational Church and Rotary Club are the fundraisers’ sponsors. On Jan. 19, the dinner will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at Boothbay Harbor Congregational Church. A spaghetti dinner with plain or meat sauce will be served along with garlic bread, salad and cake. The meal is by donation. Proceeds will be sent to the Chief Petty Officers’ Fund managed by Chief Adam Smart, the Boothbay Harbor base commander.
“The outpouring of community support has been overwhelming,” Smart said. “It’s unbelievable how many residents and organizations have asked about how they can help Coast Guard families. The crew has been taken aback and are very grateful.”
This article has been updated from its original posting.