“I don’t want anyone to lose anything’: Furloughed government employee helping others as shutdown continues


While hundreds of Virginians are furloughed, some working without pay, others not working at all during the government shutdown, a Chesterfield woman is dedicated to meeting the needs of the community.

Wednesday, Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger shared Donna Ingram’s story on the House floor, as she pushed for an end to the partial government shutdown.

“Chesterfield, Virginia resident Donna Ingram has worked for the U.S. Department of the Treasury for 15 years. She is a mother of two, and because of the shutdown, she is worried about her ability to make ends meet. Earlier this month, Donna’s pay stub showed the word ‘furloughed,’ and her paycheck showed the number ‘zero. Donna is currently in the middle of medical treatment. But because of shutdown’s financial harm, she has been forced to discontinue this treatment. Donna said her livelihood is at stake, and she could lose everything she has worked so hard for over the past 15 years,” Spanberger explained.

“Normally I am the person in the background but now I am in the forefront,” said Ingram. “It’s given me the courage to say I am going to speak a little louder.”

Ingram has continued to share her story, while also working to help other government employees stay afloat.

“I come out to volunteer to get my mind off of it because again, I might not be at work, helping somebody, but I am helping some co-workers I am helping other federal employees that need food,” she said.

Thursday, NBC12 met Ingram at the Ricky Johnson and Friends Foundation Resource Center on E. Belt Boulevard, as she worked to pack boxes of food and necessities for other furloughed employees in Central Virginia.

Ingram says continuing to live without a paycheck has been stressful, and she is saddened by the struggles others are facing.

“I’ve heard stories, and seen stories and know people that can’t get medical treatment,” said Ingram. “Those in the middle of cancer treatment, how do you go about shutting them off? Yes, we still have our healthcare, but we can’t pay our co-pay.”

As the uncertainty continues for hundreds of thousands of government employees, Ingram says she has to rely on her faith, plans to continue volunteering to help meet the needs of her community, in spite of her own setbacks.

“I’m only one person, but if my one person can reach somebody else, and help them out, I feel like I’ve done what I’m supposed to do.”

If you are interested in volunteering or donating to the Ricky Johnson and Friend Foundations you can learn more here.

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