ST PETERSBURG, Pa. — As federal employees missed their first paycheck on Friday due to the partial government shutdown, a St. Petersburg man decided to take matters into his own hands to try and help.

Paul Krakowski reached out to his neighbors on Facebook, asking for donations so he could collect Publix gift cards to U.S. Coast Guard families affected by the shutdown.

“As a boating community we all, whether we know it or not, count on the flight crews that are based here locally at the airport to save us if the worst happens while we are out on the water,” Krakowski said in his letter. “I am starting a drive to deliver Publix gift cards to the 500-600 of these folks (many of which are young families) that are working without pay while our government sorts out their differences during this shutdown.”

“We place our lives in their hands when we hit the water and I feel a personal responsibility to help them in their time of need,” he went on to say in the letter. “We live in a great country with a history of taking our future into our own hands. As a community, I ask that we all rise up and fill the gap that our Government has created in the lives of these heroes.”

According to a report by The Washington Post, Coast Guard workers were told to take babysitting jobs or host garage sales to help stem the financial tide while going unpaid during the shutdown.

If you want to donate, you can contact Krakowski via email at:

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