Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres surprised two federal workers with a sizable gift to help make ends meet as the ongoing partial government shutdown entered its 28th day on Friday.

Maryland-based federal employees Nikki Howard and her sister, Jaqi Wright, appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Friday, opening up about how they began baking and selling cheesecakes last month to pay their bills after they were furloughed in the shutdown.

DeGeneres then surprised the pair by placing her own order for one of the sisters’ cheesecakes for $20,000 courtesy of Cheerios by General Mills.

The two women, known as the Furlough Cheesecake Sisters, take most of their business through social media. The duo’s business took off following a slate of media reports, and the sisters are now reportedly struggling to keep up with demand. Now that’s a good problem to have!!!!

Order you cheesecake today at

Nikki and Jaqi are listeners of Praise 104.1  and I can’t wait to get them on the show. -Cheryl Jackson

Ellen DeGeneres Blesses The “Furlough Cheesecake Sisters” with $20,000  was originally published on