There’s both something tear-jerkingly beautiful and terribly sad about the thousands of crowdfunding campaigns that have popped up to support furloughed federal workers people during what’s now the longest government shutdown in US history. Hard-working professionals shouldn’t have to ask strangers to help pay for groceries, rent, or medical bills, but that’s where we are right now.

However sometimes when you’re struggling, it’s the little indulgences that make you feel most human. Like a movie ticket. An ice cream cone. Or…a beer.

So I really love that Kate discovered PayItFurloughed.com, a simple online donation engine that allows you you buy a nice craft beer or two from Atlas Brew Works or DC Brau (with more bars coming) for a furloughed DC Federal worker.

If you’re on furlough yourself or working for the government without pay, you’re welcome can “claim” your own beer — or even a few, if you’re not driving — and have a night out with your buddies or your significant other, and just take a break for a few hours.

Pay It Furloughed website lets you buy a beer for a federal worker impacted by the shutdown...with participating restaurants joining soon

What’s extra cool is that the folks behind the site are working on a PayItFurloughed food program with DC area restaurants as we speak. Because man and woman cannot live on Silent Neighbor Pumpernickel Stout alone.

It’s just a wonderful idea all around, because it not only supports our furloughed government workers, but the restaurants and independent businesses that are being hurt by the ripple effects of the shutdown. Remember, they’re lose business too, including not just the furloughed workers who were customers, but everyone else impacted by their lack of work — contractors, real estate agents, tutors, grocers, farmers, small landlords, other small business owners and shopkeepers, and certainly anyone in the service industry. The list goes on because we really are in a symbiotic economic system.

Who knew that buying a beer could feel this good, without even being able to drink it ourselves.

Click over to PayItFurloughed.com to donate a good craft beer for $7.50 each. It’s totally legit, thanks to the efforts of the Mess Hall DC culinary incubator, freelance food writer and cookbook author Nevin Martell, plus PR firm Quixotic and app developer 3Advance. 

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