Time off is money: Furloughed EPA workers from Slope raise thousands for other Feds who worked without pay amid shutdown • Brooklyn Paper

Time off is money: Furloughed EPA workers from Slope raise thousands for other Feds who worked without pay amid shutdown

Feds helping feds: Park Slope resident and furloughed federal worker Melissa Dimas, left, pictured with one of hundreds of Transportation Security Administration agents she and fellow EPA workers Jennifer May-Reddy and Sabina Byck helped raise money and supplies for.
Melissa Dimas

Talk about federal aid!

Three Park Slopers recently furloughed from their jobs at the Environmental Protection Agency during the federal shutdown spent some of their time off the job raising money for other Feds forced to work without pay before the government reopened.

The trio of environmental workers worked with staff at the neighborhood’s Old Stone House museum to collect cash and supplies for employees of the Transportation Security Agency, and on Monday delivered the haul to John F. Kennedy airport in Queens, where it was distributed to more than 500 agency workers, according to one of the do-gooders.

And although the women delivered the green and goods three days after the record 35-day shutdown ended on Jan. 25, the donations still came as a relief to those Feds who received them, because many are still waiting for the two long-overdue paychecks they did not receive during the government closure.

“Just because the shutdown ended, doesn’t mean the need went away,” said Melissa Dimas, who organized the collection with her Environmental Protection Agency colleagues Jennifer May-Reddy and Sabina Byck.

The Slopers praised the generosity of their neighbors, who donated roughly $5,000 and a trove of household items to the drive the trio kicked off on Jan. 24, when they had no idea President Trump would sign a deal to reopen the government the next day.

“All I can tell you is there are really good people in the neighborhood, and in Brooklyn, and around the country,” Dimas said.

And despite their own difficulties living without pay for more than a month, the women chose to dedicate the drive to Transportation Security Agency employees, because they still had to show up to work even though the government stopped cutting them checks, according to Dimas.

“We wanted to do something that would directly impact people who still had to go to work,” she said. “When you have to go to work, you have to pay for food, you have to pay for transit. You’re not able to go out, get the supplies you need, and take care of your kids.”

The trio teamed up with Old Stone House Executive Director Kim Maier, who used the historic abode as a drop-off site during the collection, and helped spread the word by distributing fliers in the neighborhood and via social media, the organizers said.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.

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