San Diego businesses offering freebies for furloughed workers - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego businesses offering freebies for furloughed workers

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - Some businesses in San Diego are offering freebies to furloughed federal workers over the weekend to provide a little relief as the partial government shutdown enters Day 21. 

Inspired by his father, Eugene Lee who is a veteran and former FBI agent, Chris Lee of Carlsbad business, Real-Axis, wants to help federal government employee impacted by the shutdown. 

“I wanted to get involved because my father is a retired government employee.  [I want to]  help cover their mortgage or their rent for the duration of the shutdown. That is a little scary, but I am going to make that commitment. We are going to get through this together.”

Federal employees furloughed can contact Carlsbad business owner Chris Lee at: Chris@reelaxis.com. He also also issued the call to other small businesses to step up for fellow furloughed employees. 

Brian Vincik is the general manager for Securematics High Tech Distribution Business. He said he was going to sponsor a federal worker’s mortgage or rent. “We have the capability as local business leaders to do something. I just imagine my dad when I think about helping. My father was a postal worker for 40 years. It was not easy. He worked paycheck to paycheck and sometimes worked two jobs.”

At the Fleet Science Center at Balboa Park, there is an offer for free admission for furloughed employees all weekend long to help ease the burden.

“We’re a community organization at the Fleet, we have a number of people in this community who’ve been working for the federal government who are now furloughed and under a lot of stress, so it’s an opportunity for us to give back to them and make it a little easier,” Fleet's CEO, Dr. Steve Snyder said.

Furloughed employees and contractors must show their federal ID or badge at the ticket counter. FREE admission includes all of the Fleet's interactive exhibit galleries and the choice of one IMAX® film. 

Federal employees and contractors can bring up to three guests to take advantage of this offer.

The San Diego Air & Space Museum is also providing free admission to furloughed federal employees and their families over the weekend.  It includes federal employees still on the job whose compensation has also been delayed.

Federal employees simply need to show their federal employee identification for free admission for themselves and up to three guests.

“This is our small way of ensuring we contribute positively to family focused activities for those federal employees whose compensation has been delayed,” said Jim Kidrick, President & CEO of the San Diego Air & Space Museum.  “We appreciate their efforts on our behalf and look forward to welcoming them this Saturday and Sunday.”

Other major wireless providers including Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon are also willing to work with affected government employees.

Wireless providers

AT&TCustomers affected by the shutdown are eligible for flexible payment options to keep service including cellphones, television and internet running. Make payment arrangements online at www.att.com.

Sprint"Our Care reps will coordinate with qualified customers and our financial team to find a payment option that works and keep your service uninterrupted during the government shutdown," Sprint said in a statement. Impacted customers should call 888-211-4727 or do an online chat at www.sprint.com.

T-MobileShort-term account assistance can be tailored to meet the needs of customers who are federal workers, T-Mobile said, noting options include payment deferral and "flexible payment options" that allow customers to spread their service payments over time." The company is also offering support to government account customers. Customers can call T-Mobile Customer Care to discuss options at 611 from a T-Mobile device or 877-746-0909 from any phone. 

Verizon: The company announced flexible payment options and a "Promise to Pay" program that can be set up in the My Verizon app or website. Further assistance is available by calling 866-266-1445.

If you are aware of any companies offering discounts or freebies to government furloughed employees, Email YourStories@kfmb.com or visit our Facebook page .

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