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GoFundMe launches campaign for government workers hit by shutdown

It's a rare direct aid program from the site.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
January 19, 2019
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Justin Schoneck via Getty Images

People have frequently used GoFundMe to lend a helping hand to others in need of some help, but the site itself is getting involved in light of the US government shutdown. The company has teamed up with Deepak Chopra to launch a donation campaign for government workers who've been furloughed or are being forced to work without pay. The initiative will donate contributors' money to "several" non-profits providing relief, including #ChefsForFeds (providing food) and the National Diaper Bank Network. More organizations will come onboard as the campaign continues, GoFundMe CEO Rob Solomon said.

The executive stressed that this was "not about politics." It was a matter of "lending a helping hand" to people who need it, he said. The funds are going to the public Direct Impact Fund charity.

Whatever the motivations, it's uncommon for GoFundMe to wade into situations like this. The company tends to stay out politics entirely unless a campaign violates policies. At the same time, it's a reflection of how much charity has changed with the advent of online crowdfunding. Those sites are quickly becoming the first destination for people looking to help, and GoFundMe is clearly aware of that trend.

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