About a week and a half ago, I read a story in People magazine about furloughed workers having a rough go of it:
When Kristie Scarazzo, a divorced single mom of a 4-year-old daughter landed her dream job last September as a botanist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, she drained her savings for the exciting move to Ventura, California.
“I thought I was making a wise choice, working for the federal government,” she tells PEOPLE, “one that is very secure.”
Four months later, Scarazzo, 45, is “trying not to freak out” as she deals with the uncertainty of no pay since Dec. 22, one of approximately 800,000 employees affected both financially and emotionally by a partial government shutdown without end.
On Friday, President Donald Trump, whose insistence for funding for a proposed southern border wall led to the government closing, said it could last for months — “even years.”
“It’s really difficult,” says Scarazzo, echoing the concerns of several federal employees whom PEOPLE spoke to as the shutdown grinds on.
I’m not usually in the habit of reading People magazine- not that I have anything against it, my grandmother used to get it and then they would end up at my parent’s house and it was something nice to flip through and see puff pieces and pictures of pretty people- but someone tweeted the story and it caught my eye. I think what resonated to me was the fact that she was a botanist- one of those jobs that doesn’t get the attention that “sexier” things like the Coast Guard or TSA do in this shutdown, but it’s a super important thing that we all take for granted. Plus, it’s one of those jobs where you just can’t stop going to work- plants die and the things they are working on are like the other scientists who are still going to work because years worth of work is in experiments that will just die and be lost if they are not dealt with every day.
At any rate, me being me, having a soft spot for single moms, I looked her up on facebook, assumed there was only one botanist in Ventura who went by the name of Katie Scarazzo, and messaged her. She was very nice although probably taken aback that some lunatic on the internet (yours truly) had hunted her down, but said she didn’t need help atm, but thanked me and I told her if things change, to reach out. I just got a message from her about a gofundme:
As many as government employees being cut from the pay due to the federal government shut down. My husband and I have created a GoFundMe, the funds, to help Kristie Scarazzo, graduated with a Master degree of Botany, gave up her previous job to work for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as her dream job of her life. We ask everyone to give a helping hand, the donations go to her, the single mother with lovely children of 4 years old. The funds will be used to pay for her monthly condo rent, food, student loan, child care, and other expenses. The total raised funds will go toward her all the necessary monthly payments immediately. I am grateful for who I am today; I have been in downtime ago and I know how it feels. I feel everyone should extend the helping hand as it is our human nature to have sympathy toward others, like Kristie.
I am in for 50 and hope you all will help out, too.