Coach Cal asks UK fans to donate funds for Lexington’s federal workers


Kentucky head coach John Calipari praises his team during the game against Texas A&M on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky won 84-75. Photo by Chase Phillips | Staff

Kernel News Staff

John Calipari, UK’s head basketball coach, is asking fans to donate funds to his family foundation which will direct those funds towards relief for furloughed federal workers affected by the ongoing government shutdown.

“We have a lot of people here (in Lexington) that live with us, that work in our city,” Calipari said in a video posted to his social media accounts. “500 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.”

According to the social media accounts, the funds will go to the 2019 Emergency Shutdown Government Relief Program. The program is run by REACH Inc., a Lexington-based non-profit. The program will assist federal workers that work in the area.

You can donate by visiting the Calipari Foundation website here, or you can text “GIVE” to 859-955-8173.

News broke last week that Calipari’s foundation was reaching out to help federal workers, after a woman who worked at the Federal Medical Center, the federal prison on the outskirts of Lexington, called in to the coach’s radio shows to personally thank him for the funds already being distributed, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported. 

“This is unusual times. Never heard of this before,” Calipari said. “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.”