Project $hutdown $upport Successfully Concluded
Through the Association's Project $hutdown $upport, some 280 alumni donated approximately $36,500, which was distributed to 165 EPA employees and Senior Environmental Employee (SEEs)who especially needed help during the 35 day government shutdown which ended on January 25, 2019.
Because ethics rules prohibit employees from accepting more than $20 in gifts from a source, most of the donors purchased multiple gift cards from grocery chains for recipients. Furloughed employees generally received 10 gifts from separate people worth $200. The EPA Alumni Association, which organized the effort, brokered over 1800 separate transactions. Association Executive Director Chuck Elkins conceived and organized the project. Association President Phyllis Flaherty said, "We are proud that so many of our members stepped forward to help those who were hurting because of the shutdown. It was a challenge to get the word to laid off employees that help was available, since their official email was turned off, but the employee unions and SEE grantee organizations helped and word of mouth reached many who were having cash flow problems. Many touching messages of gratitude have come in.