Government Shutdown 2018

Project Sanctuary recognizes the importance of the military family and understands the potentially negative impact of the government shutdown on service members and their families. By restricting funds and reducing services for our troops and veterans, our elected representatives are unduly creating hardships for our nation’s most valuable asset – the military family – resulting in increased emotional and financial stress. We encourage you to stay informed with official sources regarding exactly how you are affected by the shutdown, as military members and veterans are affected differently. We stand by our families and are ready to serve in whatever way we can. Project Sanctuary always encourages prudent financial planning; however, we also recognize that many military and veteran families may not have the means to stay financially healthy during this shutdown.  We have listed below a number of organizations that could be of help during this time. Please recognize that they may be overwhelmed with requests and may take longer than usual to respond to you.

Military Aid Organizations

Air Force Aid Society (AFAS):
Army Emergency Relief (AER):
Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (CGMA):
Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS):

In addition, each state should have its own National Guard Foundation.

If you are not located near an aid organization, you may seek financial assistance from the Red Cross by calling 877-272-7337. Each aid organization has an agreement with the Red Cross to provide the same type of financial assistance to military families.

Financial Institutions Addressing Military Family Needs:

First Command:


Navy Federal Credit Union:

Marine Federal:


Additional Emergency Support:

Semper Fi Fund:

Operation Homefront:

USA Cares:

Operation Full Support:

Operation First Response:

Salute Heroes:

Hope for the Warriors:

American Military Family:

PenFed Foundation Military Heroes Fund:

Operation Family Fund:

The American Legion Temporary Financial Assistance:

Veterans of Foreign Wars Unmet Needs:

Salute, Inc.’s Financial Assistance Program:

Our Forgotten Warriors’ Direct Assistance:

Modest Needs:

Military Brats Inc Veteran Relief Fund:

H.E.R.O.E.S. Care:

Don’t Panic! Be Proactive. (The following comes from a 2011 article at that is still relevant for the 2018 government shutdown.)

Military families all over the world are worried about their paychecks, so we recommend the following tips to remain financially healthy during the shutdown.

First, what you should NOT do:

  • DO NOT take out a “payday” loan.
  • DO NOT cash out your Thrift Savings Plan.
  • DO NOT pawn your valuables.
  • DO NOT make any major financial decisions while under this stress.

Now, some things that you SHOULD do:

  • DO make sure you have a pretty thorough understanding of your current financial situation.   Look at all available assets:  checking, savings, the coins in the ashtray of your car, CDs, etc.  If you are unclear about things like what you owe and to whom, interest rates, minimum payments, etc., now is exactly the time to figure this out.  Use this as a learning opportunity, and talk with your spouse.
  • DO prepare to talk with any creditors, including landlords, mortgage companies, orthodontists, child care providers, car finance companies, loans and credit cards.  They may or may not be helpful but communication is essential.  Try to get an idea of who is likely to work with you and who is really not going to cut you any slack at all.
  • DO be prepared to suspend any automatic debits that you have scheduled.  If you have automatic drafts that are to come out immediately after the 15th, and you won’t have the money if you don’t get paid, you might want to suspend them as a precaution.  It typically takes a few days to stop an automatic draft from being debited.
  • DO look at the choices you are making RIGHT NOW.  There should be quite a few purchases, both large and small, that can be eliminated or postponed.  Can you take that vacation next month?  Does that home repair need to be done right now, or can it wait a bit?  Would it be possible to wait to purchase that new washer and dryer, or could you buy a used one instead of new?  On a smaller scale, this would be the right time to cut back on little luxuries.  Can you give up the Red Bull, or buy it at the commissary instead of from the convenience store?  Can your family eat a few more meatless meals?  Might the $5 laundry soap clean your clothes as well as the $9 bottle?
  • DO control your food costs.  For most families, food is the second or third largest amount of money spent each month.  (Housing is typically first, and sometimes auto expenses come in second.)  Look at what you have in your pantry, your refrigerator and your freezer.  Think creatively about how you will make this food last as long as possible.  Learn to fill in with rice and in-season fresh vegetables.  Beans can be prepared a million different ways, they are super-nutritious, and they are cheap.  (Even cheaper if you buy them dried.)  Use resources such as AllRecipes​.com to figure out how to create meals out of the things that you have on hand.

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