A charitable couple has pledged $10M to keep Head Start programs open for 7,000 low income kids during the government shutdown.  Here’s what the donors had to say about their gift:

“We believe that it is especially unfair that young children from underprivileged communities and working families pay the price for the legislature’s collective failures.  In an effort to address this injustice, we will help keep the doors open at Head Start programs across the country this month. We sincerely hope that our government gets back to work in short order, as private dollars cannot in the long term replace government commitments.”

This is a wonderful, heartwarming piece of philanthropy.  The Arnolds, a young couple who have signed the Giving Pledge and have first-hand experience educating their young children, couldn’t bear the idea of closing Head Start programs across six states.  They knew working parents wouldn’t have access to safe, affordable childcare alternatives.  They knew the children would learn less, and would have their educational progress interrupted, because of the closings.

The technical details: if funding is fully restored, this gift will be a no-interest loan, and Head Start will repay the Arnolds.  Head Start reports that it’s hard to get clarity right now about what funding they might and might not receive in the future.  Instead of waiting around to see what would happen, the Arnolds took action.  They wrote a check right away, because the need was immediate.

We can’t all give on this scale.  But we can all care, right now, today, about the low income people in our own community who are affected by the inaction of our federal government.  Do you support a local nonprofit?  Could you call to ask whether the people it serves are being affected by the shutdown?  What if there was a way you could help?