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Local businesses offer help to furloughed federal workers

A number of local businesses are rallying to the support of federal workers who are furloughed because of the current government shutdown. 

Last week, Flossmoor Station announced a free lunch and discounted craft beer special for  federal employees affected by the government shutdown.

In an email to the Chronicle, Emily Klehm, director of the South Suburban Humane Society, said that SSHS is offering pet food from its Pet Food Bank to any federal government employee affected by the shutdown.

“We had a wonderful response from folks over the holidays and our Pet Food Bank is well-stocked,” she said. “We know it must be extraordinarily difficult to have to choose what to spend savings on or rack up credit card debt so we want to help with this aspect at least.”

The humane society office at 1103 West End Ave., Chicago Heights, is open Wednesday through Friday 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

On Friday, Dunnings Market, 1048-1050 Sterling Ave. in Flossmoor, posted on Facebook an offer of half-off the cost of lunch up to $20.

While it might not count as help with basic needs, Greg and Darcie Loudon of Bottle and Bottega, 2009 Ridge Road in Homewood, have offered to help with the stress of being furloughed. 

“We know what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck,” Darcie said in a video posted on the business’s Facebook page. “To not receive that paycheck would be so scary. We want to help, We can’t pay anyone’s bills, but we do have a place you can come and paint.”

The couple is offering a free painting session for furloughed federal workers from 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 21. 

“Come in and relax, forget about your woes for a couple of hours and take it easy,” Greg said.

Events at Bottle and Bottega are BYOB, so patrons can bring a beverage of choice. The event will begin with a 30-minute cocktail reception, followed by a painting session. The studio provides paint supplies and aprons, instruction, and a 11- by 14-inch take-home canvas.

Registration is available online. Guests should present a government ID at the event.

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