Furloughed employees spend time volunteering

‘Feds Helping Huntsville’ encourages people to get out and help out

Furloughed employees spend time volunteering
Furloughed employees are looking for people to help volunteer in the community

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - One Huntsville local is trying to get furloughed workers to volunteer, share and create opportunities that will fill a need in the community.

“If you stay home, and you just think about it too much, you feel like you’re very isolated. You’re not a part of the community and what’s going on,” furloughed employee Gregg Gelmis said.

After the drawn out, 29-day shutdown, Gelmis said he had to make a change.

“The big idea behind it was going through and looking at things that we can do in the community because we have the time now to be active," Gelmis said.

‘Feds Helping Huntsville’ is a place where people can post community engagement events on Facebook.

“It’s not only volunteer opportunities, but it’s also an opportunity to get out and reconnect with people,” Gelmis continued.

United Way is also sharing its resources to extend the hand even further.

Community Impact Director, Cathy Miller said, “we want folks to know that there is a health and human service hotline, if they don’t know where to turn and they’re not sure that they can handle things on their own anymore, they can call the simple numbers 2-1-1."

Emotional services, shelter, clothing, and even volunteer events are some of the resources United Way is offering.

“Moving out of that isolation gives you that shot of endorphins that helps us feel better about our own situation,” Miller said.

Marshall Space Flight Center also has a page for community resources.

Marshall employee, Matt McSavaney said people have posted looking for part-time job opportunities.

“Lots of posts about restaurants and fast food places, YMCA’s gym memberships, things that are either free or discounted," McSavaney said.

Both Gelmis and McSavaney said they are trying to rally support for everyone in the community during the shutdown.

“This really gives me some direction. Rather than sitting at home, kinda wallowing in it, this gives me an opportunity to be active and do something about it and try to make something positive," Gelmis explained.

If you’re a furloughed employee and are looking for resources or volunteer opportunities click here.

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