How you can help Jacksonville Coast Guard families going without pay

Coast Guard families surviving without paychecks

Jacksonville’s Coast Guard families will not get a paycheck this week because of the partial government shutdown.

Petty Officer 1st Class Seth Buswell has served the Coast Guard for more than a decade.

He and his wife, Beth Buswell have two young sons. “Everybody was kind of scared,” Beth Buswell said. “We have mortgages to pay, rent to pay, car notes are due."

Content Continues Below

Seth Buswell is among 546 Coast Guard personnel in Jacksonville who aren’t getting paid because of the shutdown.

“There are newborns. There’s babies,” Beth Buswell said. “You’ve lost basically your entire income from no fault of your own.”

Beth Buswell said some families are struggling to put gas in their cars or buy simple items to run their households. That’s why she’s working with community groups to help those families.

The nonprofit BEAM dropped off 3,200 meals for families in Jacksonville this weekend, and the USO is holding a food giveaway on Tuesday. Beth Buswell said families now need basic necessities -- baby products, toiletries and hygiene products, paper towels and other household items.

As she works with the Chief Petty Officers Association to establish a drop-off site, she has a message for Coast Guard spouses.

“Just know -- other wives and other husbands, other spouses will be there to support you,” she said.

“Just reach out. Let us know what you need. Hang in there.”

The Chief Petty Officers Association and Coast Guard Mutual Assistance are two groups collecting  donations online for families.

If you would like to donate household items for Coast Guard families, you are asked to drop-off items on Jan. 19 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Christ UMC located at 400 Penman Road in Neptune Beach.