GALVESTON, Texas — USO Houston is offering immediate help for military families expecting to miss a paycheck as the government shutdown reaches day 20.

They won’t be paying anyone’s mortgage or covering bills, but at the very least families can have their most basic and immediate needs covered.

Officials will gather donations like baby food, toiletries and groceries at Ellington Airport Friday morning at 9:30 a.m., with distribution to start at 11:30 a.m.

On her 40th birthday, Heather Dobos is in search of one gift: getting her life back to normal. 

Instead, she’ll be standing in line with what we can expect will be dozens of families in search of help.

“You know, it’s a little hard to realize you need help too, but we do and I’m gonna swallow my pride,” said Dobos.

This won’t be the first time she’s had to rely on such donations, but at least before it seemed like everyone was in the same position.

Her home has been consumed with mold. Now she’s forced to pay a mortgage for a house she can’t live in and rent for a place that’s too small.

As for options, Dobos is running out. Her husband is in the Coast Guard and doesn’t know when he’ll see his next paycheck.

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Dobos hears the critics who say all they have to do is wait for backpay, but says it’s not a simple fix.

Frustration grows even more when those same critics make it an argument over politics, when Dobos says this is about people. The people who help defend our borders, are not being paid to do so.

“Realize there are people hurting, people have kids, people have to pay bills,” said Dobos.

That may not mean much to you, but how about the thousands in Houston alone, who won’t be paid Friday?

People who have no choice, but to find help anywhere they can.

“Maybe show them some empathy, because even if you can’t help them financially, empathy goes a really long way,” said Dobos.

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