GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — Kathryn Ball of Grand Rapids was tired of seeing the headlines about the government shutdown and wanted to do something about it.
She wanted to donate gift cards to federal airport workers at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport but was told it was against the rules.
"I think it's a law that applies to ordinary times and we are not in ordinary times," she said.
Ball said she is feeling awful about federal workers who will not be paid because of the partial government shutdown. She planned to hand out as much as $1,000 in gift cards until she was told federal employees can't receive gifts on the job.
"I don't know what to do now, but I'm gonna find a way to help these people," she said.
Roughly 420,000 federal employees were deemed essential and are working unpaid. An additional 380,000 are staying home without pay.
Since being turned away, Ball told us she doesn't know what she is going to do next but she is willing to work with any local organization, non-profit or church that is willing to help government workers. She also said she wants more people to follow in her footsteps because it is unknown how long the shutdown will continue.
"I want to start a movement if I can--start it right here in Grand Rapids, Michigan--to get out there and help these people that are affected by this horrible incident at no fault of their own," Ball said.
Most of the government workers received their last paycheck two weeks ago, and Friday will be the first payday without money. As of Friday, Jan. 11 the shutdown has lasted 21 days.