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John Calipari hopes UK fans will donate to help furloughed federal government workers

John Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)


Last week Kentucky coach John Calipari and his wife, Ellen, decided to have his foundation provide financial help for about 500 federal workers in Lexington who have not been receiving paychecks since the government shutdown started.

I have a friend who has received a $500 Kroger gift card thanks to the Caliparis’ generosity — he’s not had a paycheck since Dec. 21.

Now Calipari is encouraging Kentucky fans to donate funds to his foundation that will use the money for to help the furloughed federal.

“We have a lot of people here (in Lexington) that live with us, that work in our city. Five hundred people that are not getting paid. Food, prescriptions, gas; forget about mortgages, rents, cars, insurances— those bills don’t go away. They’re not getting paid,” Calipari said in a video on social media Monday.

“This is unusual times. Never heard of this before. Anytime I’ve asked the Big Blue Nation to get involved with stuff like this— (Hurricane) Sandy, Haiti, Houston— you come through the woodwork. I got to ask you again. Work with us as we try to help these federal workers.”

The donations will go to the 2019 Emergency Shutdown Government Relief Program directed by REACH, a Lexington-based non-profit.

Donations can be made by texting “GIVE” to 859-955-8177 or online at


  1. All these people will eventually get paid in full when the shut down ends, will they not? They can also do as many are doing across the nation and file for unemployment. I thought this was all on the Calipari’s and their generosity. That was what was first reported. Sounds to me like this is just asking people to give money away. If there was no other recourse, I could see it, but not this.

  2. Pup, I think Cal and his wife did donate in there part that’s the way I been reading.

  3. I donated $50. Even though my 7 brothers and sisters and I also are providing assistance to at least a dozen or more of my family members. All 8 of us were born in DC and we have a large amount of family effected. My father and all of my brothers are Vets(as well as dozens of my cousins that live in around DC that have gov jobs. 3 of my sister are married to Vets. Most are retired military with government jobs. Say what you want but until your entire family from coast to coast are pitching in to make sure all have what they need you have no idea the cost of this event. If you choose not to help fine. but do not make light of those who do.

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