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Politics

GoFundMe launches its own campaign for government shutdown relief

And in a day, it's already two-thirds of the way to its fundraising goal of $75,000.

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A campaign GoFundMe set up to help those affected by the government shutdown will fund celebrity chef José Andrés' efforts to feed federal workers in Washington, DC.

Washington Post/Screenshot by CNET

US government employees and their supporters have been setting up GoFundMe campaigns to get help with expenses amid the partial government shutdown. But now the popular crowdfunding site has launched its own campaign to assist federal workers.

GoFundMe on Saturday launched the Government Shutdown Direct Relief Fund to help employees affected by the shutdown, now in its 30th day at time of writing. The site partnered on the campaign with author and speaker Deepak Chopra.

As of Sunday afternoon, the campaign had raised $50,956 of its $75,000 goal. That was 469 individual donations. GoFundMe and Chopra both donated $10,000.

"Government workers, through no fault of their own, can't afford to put diapers on their newborns," GoFundMe CEO Rob Solomon said in a press release. "Employees of the most powerful nation in the world are being forced to work without pay and line up at diaper or food banks. It makes no sense."

Donations to the campaign will go to several nonprofits that offer direct assistance to government workers, including the National Diaper Bank Network and #ChefsForFeds, a team led by celebrity chef José Andrés that's been serving meals to federal employees in Washington DC.

Chopra said this is a time for creative solutions, rather than ideological debates. "This is the least we can do," he said. "If we have empathy rather than outrage, compassion love and healing have a chance in this time of conflict and divisiveness."

First published Jan. 20, 2:46 p.m. PT.
Update, 3:07 p.m.: Adds comment from Chopra.