By KEITH TAYLOR, Kentucky Today
LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) — Kentucky coach John Calipari is doing his part to help others during the partial government shutdown.
Calipari has connected with at least 500 families of federal workers and given financial assistance in the Bluegrass. On Thursday, Calipari helped the Lexington ATF workers who aren’t receiving a paycheck during the current shutdown.
“Ellen and I have taken great joy with the opportunity to help others,” Calipari said on his Instagram account Thursday. “It (has) maybe meant more to us than even the people we are serving. Everything we have don through grants is not being asked to be paid back when this is over.
“We are asking them to pay it forward. We are hoping this shutdown ends soon, but we are prepared to help if we need to. The Lexington ATF is struggling through this time, but yet found time to do this for us.”
Calipari and his foundation have helped workers in other fields affected by the shutdown, including the jail, the TSA, agriculture and sheriff’s department.
Calipari said he earmarked $250,000 initially and “we kind of blew through it.” But has raised approximately $10,000 additionally from other donors.
“When you see the people, they are all people I grew up with and they don’t deserve to be the brunt of this,” Calipari said. “Some of them were struggling before with child issues and some other things and health issues and now this hits them and it’s just — I don’t think it’s fair. We’re going to continue to do it.”
The shutdown entered its 34th day on Thursday with no immediate end in sight. Approximately 800,000 federal workers are affected by the partial shutdown.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is hopeful the shutdown will come to a close with a compromise agreement.
“The nation is watching,” he said. “Members can vote to immediately reopen the entire government with a compromise package the president will actually sign or they can hold out for the Democratic leader’s dead-end proposal that stands no chance,” McConnell said Thursday.
The Senate is poised to vote on a pair of bills to reopen the closed portion of the Government Thursday evening.
Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter @keithtaylor21.