A showrunners picket at Fox that started as a way to show solidarity during the strike ended up raising close to $45,000 for crew members who have been adversely affected by the work stoppage.

Strike Captain Amy Berg encouraged showrunners who attended the Sept. 12 picket to bring along gift cards so she could distribute them to support staff in need. More than 300 high-powered scribes, including Steve Levitan, Shawn Ryan, Aline Brosh-McKenna, Carlton Cuse, Rene Balcer, Jack Burditt, Mike Scully, Matt Selman, Andy Gordon, Tucker Cawley and David Shore, walked the line that day.

At today’s IATSE appreciation day at Fox, Berg distributed the gift cards to 115 people. She plans to mail more out this week to crew members.

“I was looking at all these amazing funds we have out there, but noticed that most require a long application process which can delay people getting the help they need,” Berg (Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, The Alienist) told Deadline. “I just thought, what could we do that offered immediate assistance?”

Those who participated in today’s IATSE appreciation picket received at least $150 word of cards to grocery stores and retail outlets like Target.

“Things everyone can use,” said Berg. “I basically started a nonprofit in one week, thanks to the generosity of my fellow showrunners.”

Showrunners have already contributed more than $500,000 recently to the Entertainment Community Fund. (Click for the showrunner donation link). Most of the donors have been anonymous.

There’s renewed optimism that the WGA and AMPTP can reach a deal now that both parties have agreed to meet tomorrow. 

The WGA sent out a note to members confirming the talks: “The WGA and AMPTP now have a confirmed schedule to bargain this week, starting on Wednesday. You might not hear from us in the coming days while we are negotiating, but know that our focus is getting a fair deal for writers as soon as possible. We’ll reach out again when there is something of significance to report. In the meantime, please continue to demonstrate your commitment and unity by coming out to the picket lines – for yourselves and fellow writers, SAG-AFTRA, other unions’ members, and all those in our community who are impacted by the strikes.”