GUILFORD, CT (WFSB) - While a deal is in place to re-open the government for three weeks, one shoreline town is not slowing down when it comes to helping its neighbors in need.

It’s really a community effort.

The group Guilford Cares formed just last week and no doubt, they’re relieved people will be getting back to work and more importantly getting paid.

They’re still here to help, especially when there is that concern we could be back in this spot in just three weeks.

“Have you ever been, hugged, cried upon and blessed at the same time? That’s what happens a lot of times,” said Steve Spurrell.

Steve Spurrell says that’s the reaction he’s gets from distributing donations and gift cards to government workers who call Guilford home, and haven’t been getting paid for five weeks.

For him, this shutdown was personal.

“I happen to have a son in law in Pennsylvania who’s an air traffic controller, he’s on his 35th day or you have to go to work and you’re not getting paid, tough stuff,” said Spurrell.

Last week a few residents in town, formed the group Guilford Cares, a shoreline community that’s home to Coast Guard housing with the Coast Guard station just down I-95 in New Haven.

Spurrell says those living here have responded.

“Majority of people are coming forward with Visa, American Express, those kind of cards, leaving them at the PD, we’re well over $6,000 now,” said Spurrell.

In addition to donations being dropped off at the police department, businesses have stepped up too.

Quattros is offering a free meal Monday through Thursday for impacted federal employees, and on Friday, Nicole Ball, a local Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee stopped by with gift cards.

“We have $400 worth of coffee and we figured that’s got to help people in effected and aren’t getting a pay check right now, everyone needs a cup of coffee,” said Ball.

Plenty of people looking to help making a difference, a few donations at a time.

“Guilford Cares was kind of a tag line I came up with, looking for something catchy, something easy, something short and sweet, but it’s really true,” Spurrell said.

Spurell says they distributed to 6 families earlier this week, with another five coming in in the near future.

He says those in town who’ve been impacted can contact him with proof showing they’re federal employees.

Once that’s done, a time will be set up to meet face to face and distribute the gift cards.

If you are impacted and are looking for help, you can contact Spurrell by phone at 203-627-4404 or by email at

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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