HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — As the longest government shutdown in U.S. history continues through its fifth week, a number of individuals, businesses, and nonprofits throughout the Shenandoah Valley have stepped up to help those in our area affected by the shutdown. Below is a running list of ongoing community efforts. If you know of more, please let us know by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
• The Mimslyn Inn in Luray is holding a spaghetti dinner on January 26th, with proceeds going to the Shenandoah National Park Employees Association. Tickets are $15 each:
Learn more here.
• Wings of Waynesboro is offering meals free of charge the week of January 21st to federal workers impacted by the partial government shutdown: Learn more here.
• Jack Brown's Beer & Burger Joint in downtown Harrisonburg has created "Project Pay it Forward." Every patron has an opportunity to donate money toward a furloughed government employee's tab, and any employee affected by the shutdown can redeem a voucher with a valid government ID. You can also call 540-433-5225 to donate.
• The Shenandoah National Park Trust is collecting packaged snack foods for national park employees who are working without pay. The Trust assumed the cost for keeping a portajohn open at two popular trails. Donations can be dropped off at the office located at 404 8th St. NE D, Charlottesville. Learn more here.
• Tamika Derozen is collecting baby formula to donate to women unable to feed their children without WIC. You can drop off formula at her salon in Waynesboro at 200 E. Main St. Learn more here.
• The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank has been distributing food boxes to TSA employees working without pay at the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport. You can donate to the BRAFB here.
• Attorney Bill Helsley is offering his services for free. He is giving legal consultations to those who need help and are not getting paid. He handles any type of trial law, and said if he can take care of it, he will help for free. If the case is outside of Helsley's expertise, he will ask another attorney to help out for free or at a reduced rate. Learn more here.
• Creative Cause Solutions and Blue Stone Fabrics in Bridgewater is offering seasonal and part-time opportunities for furloughed government workers. Learn more here.
• Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Charlottesville is offering federal employees one free movie ticket per day Mondays through Thursdays during the month of January, for new and current releases. Employees will need tos how their federal I.D. to get a free ticket. Learn more here.
• Charlie Obaugh Auto Group is willing to cover the cost of oil changes for employees not receiving paychecks, and giving out free car washes. The company also wrote in a post that if a person cannot afford to currently pay for maintenance or repairs, they will help, and that they can make arrangements for no money down and no payments for 90 days for those needing to replace a vehicle. You can call 540-885-8893 for more information.