NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - With the federal government partially shut down, many furloughed federal workers are feeling financial stress.
"It's both stressful and anxious for me. I was raised to be strong, not to be sad in front of my kids," Antony Tseng, an environmental engineer with the EPA. "To provide, be the rock, be the anchor."
The single father of two decided to speak out.
"I'm not here to take sides," he said. "What I'm here is to ask everyone to keep government employees out of this argument."
Tseng is also a volunteer EMT in Beacon, his hometown. He brought his two daughters into the junior EMT program. The lack of a paycheck is already taking a toll.
"Between bologna sandwiches and whatever else we can eat, I know we're not eating three meals a day," Tseng said.
The high-powered attorney Ben Brafman saw the original Fox 5 News report about Tseng and was moved by his story. He asked to meet with him and his daughter so he could help them through this tough time with $5,000.
"It's a check made out to Antony Tseng," Brafman said. "It's a gift, it's not a loan. There's no strings attached."
Tseng said the check lifted some of the pressure. His daughter Samantha said she appreciates the gift.
"I know that my family will probably be okay for at least the next few months so we focus a lot more on trying to figure out what we're going to do," Samantha said. "How we're going to approach this versus every day being so stressed out it's really hard to plan for the future."
That future includes Tseng's new cross-country work assignment to the wildfires zone—still unpaid.
"Somehow I go from 'non-essential' to 'essential' and I deploy over to Chico, California, by the end of the month to help the first responders there," he said.
The hard-working dad said that the gift gives him peace of mind during his upcoming deployment.