John Calipari is doing what he can to help those affected by the government shutdown. On his call-in show tonight, it was revealed that the Calipari Foundation is working with the nonprofit REACH to provide financial assistance to over 400 furloughed federal employees in Fayette County.
Calipari discussed the grant after an employee at a federal prison in Lexington called in to thank him for the generous gesture, which she was notified about by email this afternoon.
“I just wanted to say thank you to you and Ellen for this. With having to still report to work without pay, it’s huge for us. We really, truly appreciate it.”
Calipari said he didn’t expect the news to break like it did, but he and Ellen felt obligated to help after watching news reports about the shutdown and those affected.
“Ellen and I grew up the same way, payday to payday. It was paycheck to paycheck. It was never — not a whole lot of vacation, so when this thing broke that we have federal people not being paid that are working — you’re not talking $200,000 jobs, you’re talking federal employees. I kind of went and said, how many do we have in Lexington? Wouldn’t you want to know? How many federal employees do we have in Lexington that are being affected? The postal and the military, they’re still being paid, but how about who’s being furloughed. There’s 400, almost 500 people who aren’t being paid.”
“She and I sat there and watched it and said, what can we do, how can we be involved in this? Again, our initial thing was, nobody needs to know, but that email, they must have put us on there. We’re going through REACH, which is a nonprofit, and again, my friends at Kroger are helping, so whether it be gas, or pharmacy, or food, or those items, they can get that. Some need cash based on their situation with family and kids. We’re going to try to touch all 400 of them.”
Those eligible for the grant should have received an email from REACH this afternoon with details and an application. If you believe you’re eligible and did not receive the email, contact REACH at (859) 455-8057. Calipari’s only request?
“My mother taught me to pay it forward. Hopefully these folks, when they get back on their feet, will pay it forward too.”