Imagine showing up to work with no promise of a paycheck, and you can begin to see why TSA agents have begun to call in sick at record numbers and blare uncensored rap music at their workstations.

As it stands now, some 800,000 federal employees are either furloughed or working without pay. With the current government shutdown now officially the longest on record, no one should be surprised that it is having an adverse effect on their ability to make ends meet.

The shutdown affects several areas of our everyday lives, from Homeland Security to food safety to National Parks to border security and farm assistance. Workers caught in the middle of this political gambit deserve some extra recognition for continuing to show up and toughing it out. Here are 3 ways that we, the people, can help them:

  • Thank a TSA worker – Going through airport security? Stop and give a heartfelt thanks to the TSA staff. They are not allowed to accept gifts, but Homeland Security jobs suffer from low engagement as it is, and spreading some good cheer can go a long way to making them feel valued.
  • Get involved in a GoFundMe – Around 1,800 GoFundMe pages have cropped up in support of federal workers, and have raised over $400,000 so far, with funds going to help them put food on the table and pay rent. Head over to the GoFundMe page to find them, where your donations are guaranteed to go to the right people.
  • Donate to a local Food Bank – Lately there have been concerns that food banks will run out of food, since they are now taking on furloughed federal workers in addition to their regular visitors. Make a huge difference in someone’s life by donating some items. Find your local food bank here.

Hopefully these measures are temporary, but for now it’s the best most of us can do to bring some sort of stability and unity to the situation. Give them a hand, and feel good about doing it. As President John F. Kennedy was fond of saying, “A rising tide lifts all boats.”