Adventists Help Following Government Shutdown

WGTS staff and listeners gather on the National Mall to cleanup the WWI Memorial

Story by V. Michelle Bernard / Images by Eugene Simonov

The federal government shutdown at the end of 2018/beginning of 2019 stopped the paychecks of 800,000 federal government employees. Seventh-day Adventists in the DMV are working to lessen the blow. 

After hearing of increased reports of federal workers struggling to feed their families, staff at Adventist Community Services of Greater Washington (ACSGW), hosted a Pop Up Pantry for furloughed workers where they shared food with more than a dozen people. 

Another impacted area is the national parks, which did not receive maintenance. To help, WGTS 91.9 staff organized a cleanup event at the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. 

After arriving, the volunteer group comprised of WGTS staff, listeners from across the region, and a group of high school students from Chesapeake Conference’s Atholton Adventist Academy in Columbia, Md., found that other volunteers had already cleaned up. “The kids were disappointed,” says Mark O’Ffill (pictured with students), chaplain and Bible teacher, Atholton Adventist Academy. One even commented they wanted to come back when there was trash to pick up. But the students and other listeners enjoyed the comradery and what morphed into a mini-WGTS rally. 

Kevin Krueger, WGTS general manager, says, “[What] I noticed and thought about the effort is the coming together of community. ... People eager to do something, to help. ... We talk about being the hands and heart of Jesus to the Nation’s Capital and beyond. It was wonderful to see so many listeners from around the region show up to help.”