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Wake Forest Community Helps Laid-Off Workers For Holidays

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WAKE FOREST — Losing a job is devastating to anyone, but it is even worse when it comes around the holidays. More than 100 workers at Wake Forest's Athey Products were laid off in early December, but the community came together to help make Christmas come early.

The day the workers got the bad news, theWake Forest Chamber of Commercewent to work, trying to get the community to give. The community donated boxes of food and toys, and most importantly, the spirit of giving.

"Christmas at its best, we believe, and it's been amazing to watch our community, the entire Wake Forest community, rally behind some people who needed a little extra Christmas cheer," says Mark Fleming of the Chamber of Commerce.

Many of the workers at the plant filed into the Chamber Thursday to pick up a box. The workers were grateful for the community's efforts.

"Just trying to make it and try to stay happy. That's the best I can tell you," says Athey worker Calvin Richardson.

It was a difficult mix of emotions as the laid-off workers headed home -- the warmth of the true meaning of the holidays, but the chill of no job and no paycheck.

"It's just a bad time of year for anybody to be laid off regardless, but seems every time they have a lay-off, it always seems to hit out about Christmas time," says Athey worker Harry Peterson.

The Athey employees still have hope. A handful have been called back to work, but the future is uncertain. Many say their Christmas cheer comes from a community that cares -- a community that pitched in to help for the holidays

Athey Products has filed for bankruptcy.


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