Federal government workers in Tallahassee send their thanks | Opinion

From the Tallahassee Democrat

After 35 days of the government being shut down, federal employees can now breathe a sigh of relief. A possibly short breath, but a breath nonetheless.

The direct effects of the shutdown were felt right here in the city of Tallahassee, which is home to nearly 1,800 federal workers. These include TSA officers, air traffic controllers and federal correctional workers, to name a few. Residents in and around Tallahassee were faced with having to make some of the toughest decisions imaginable to ensure the economic stability for themselves and their family.

However, businesses, residents and community leaders reached out with open arms to show their support to us during these difficult times.

Individuals like Jana McConnaughhay and Annabelle Dias immediately took on the task of organizing gift card drives and offering some relief to federal workers.

Faith-based partners such as Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, First Presbyterian Church, Jacobs Chapel and Temple Israel also came to our aid. They assisted in supporting those of us with infants and small children.

Organizations such as Second Harvest of the Big Bend, United Way, Florida Bankers Association, Sustainable Tallahassee, Capital Area Community Action Agency and the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce also partnered and offered their services to each of us in our time of need.

The Mayor’s Office, along with city and county commissioners also intervened to ensure none of our workers went without water and utilities.

Media outlets such as WTXL, WCTV, Capital News, The FAMUan, Florida Phoenix, WTAL 1450AM, Heaven 98.3FM and of course, the Tallahassee Democrat, became our voice to the public.

Local businesses such as Tallahassee Nights Live, the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, SkyZone, the Tallahassee Museum, Five Stars Learning Academy, Just Kidd’n Around Academy, Compass Community Pharmacy and many others all pitched in to offer various forms of assistance to help relieve burdens and stress during these troubling times.

Nothing can compare to the outpouring of love and support from each individual citizen of the city of Tallahassee. It was beyond measure and there are no words to describe it. Tallahassee is truly a city that takes care of its own. Words can never express the gratitude we, as federal workers, have for all of you.

We thank you for your kind gestures, we thank you for your supportive words, we thank you for your prayers and we thank you for your inspiration. It was your support and warm embrace that helped to guide us through these troubling times.

So on behalf of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 556 of the TSA, the Tallahassee Local of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, and Local 1570 of AFGE-Council of Prison Locals 33, we graciously and as humbly as we know how, want to take this opportunity to say thank you.