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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Can you spare 15 seconds?

OK, this blog may take you longer than 15 seconds to read, but I asked you for just 15 seconds after you read it to respond to it. Today is a Day of Prayer for Mansfield Ohio. Their GM plant is closing and many friends are losing their jobs and homes. PLEASE join me in praying for those people and the people in the community that will be hurt as well. These people need prayers of serenity and comfort. They are faced with monumental decisions, if they're lucky enough to have choices.

I am a retiree of GM/Delphi. When our plant closed, I was lucky enough to get an offer for a mutual retirement. A close friend of mine (another horsey person) hadn't worked as many years. Let me put a face to this issue.

Teresa lived on a small farm, raising cows and two sons. She hated to leave the area and family, but knew things were tough here with all the plant closings. She chose to transfer to the Mansfield plant. She commuted for the first year. He stayed here with his job, she stayed there and drove back and forth on weekends. The separation put a strain on the relationship. She finally found a perfect farm for the whole family. The lady would not come down enough in price, so they ended up renting it. They fixed up the barn, stocked the pond, did much needed repairs on the house, never being late on the rent. They planned on being there long term.

I had given Teresa one of my horses when I retired. She found a place in Mansfield to board her and her other horse until she found the farm. They fixed it up enough to bring the horses home. Her sons love the horses too. But they won't have them much longer. Someone is coming to look at her other mare today. I remember when she bought Vanity. We spent hours on the computer looking at horse ads. We went trail riding together.

Teresa got an eviction notice. The owner worried about how they would pay the rent with the plant closing, so gave her until the lease is up in September to get out. Her immediate plan is to sell everything they can and be nomads for a bit while they decide on their next move. She is very bright and resourceful. I am sure they will be OK. But that doesn't make losing your home any easier.

You know what the hardest part is? The nasty way some people treat us for losing our jobs! Envy over our good wages and nice lifestyles has created monsters in the community. Some people are actually glad that we're losing it all. I won't go on and on about it... Just let me say this: The work that I did inside that building is not something I would do for any less money! My husband has permanent damage from chemical and asbestos exposure and was serious hurt twice requiring back surgeries. I've worked a lot of places in my life, but never anywhere else did I stand there with sweat rolling down my legs in the winter! In the summers, I can remember saying to myself, "I know I'm going to pass out!" all the while observing the filth I would keel over in. I came home from work and pick metal out of my skin! I still have tiny marks all over my hands and arms from spark burns. I was a divorced woman raising a child alone. I gave up a nice office job to give her more opportunities.

The people in these plants supported their communities in many ways. Not only did we raise all kinds of money and donations for a gazillion causes, take part in walks, runs, food drives, voter registration drives, you name it, but our tax dollars supported the schools and city services, and our paychecks were spent in the restaurants and local shops. Many of these businesses have since gone under.

Here is an excerpt from a Mansfield newspaper:
Eighty-three area pastors are asking everyone participate in a day of
June 24 in response to the recent announcement that General Motors
Mansfield/Ontario Metal Center will close, along with many

As we go through these hard times, faith-based people need
to come
together," he said. "We're in a time of depression and emotions are
up and down,
but we can be calm knowing that we have a God who will sustain

I am asking a simple thing of you today... Take 15 seconds right now (more if you want!) and pray for these people as well as all the others have that lost or are facing loss of their homes because of this financial crisis. I'm sure you must know someone affected by these hard times. Put a face on your prayer.


Ziggy Stardust said...

God bless you and I will pray for more than 15 seconds. We live near to Detroit and the recent problems with the auto industry are all around us. My husband works for Ford and luckily he has maintained his job through all of this and works every day along with dialysis.I kept a text he sent me on my phone after one of many meetings regarding layoffs that said"meeting over I am safe for now, thank God!" I get very angry when I read the negative responses to the workers in the industry. Why wouldn't the government want to help us, we will always need cars! People rely on them every day. Thank you for working so hard and I hope things work out for your friend. Together we can get through all of this.


Historical sites with charmine said...

I will also say a prayer for all those folks.Thank you for sharing all that with us.I can only imagine the tough times that lie ahead for those people.I was raised a christian, to trust in god no matter what and i have seen prayers answered.Soi'm sure god will come to their rescue,just hope they don't get discouraged.

Historical sites with charmine said...
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Lesley said...

Lily, I will pray. I promise. I know that the auto workers have been unfairly blamed for so many of the problems in the auto industry. There are no harder workers, and no prouder Americans than our U.S. auto workers. And so many are struggling right now. The last thing they need is to feel ashamed or defensive about their hard work over the years. Thanks for the reminder, my sweet blogger friend.

Anonymous said...

They have my sympathy and prayers! Unfortunately I myself know firsthand how hard it is when you lose your job, struggle to try to keep your house that you have worked so hard to get, and even though there are new programs out there to try to help, you keep running into closed doors - it seems like no one cares about anyone else anymore!! What are people supposed to do in this tough economy?!?!?

Leave a Legacy said...

This is terrible and I will be praying for all those people. I have a lot of family that live in Ohio so this just makes me feel terrible. I don't know who's to blame for this awful economy, but I do know it's not the hard workers of the auto industry, or any other hard working American. The blame has to be somewhere in the gov't. When I hear these stories I feel very guilty complaining about my pettiness.
Thank you for your kind words and encouragement and helping put things in perspective.

Mark Kreider said...

It is affecting so very many lives. NCR is moving out of Ohio so one of my brothers will be out of work. My brother in Jackson MI is struggling to keep his small jewelry shop open while his auto worker customers can't even think about buying a loved one a gift. I've been out of work for over a year myself and no one wants to hire someone my age. I will continue to pray for us all.

Shellbelle said...

These are difficult times for so many and like you said, we all know someone who has lost or are facing this loss. I've had two friends here in Florida who have lost their homes.

As a graphic designer, most of my income has always come from the small businesses here. My work is less than half of what it normally is because so many small business owners have had to close down. I was at a small mall the other day that used to have twenty-two retail stores and restaurants a year ago, it now has nine. I worked with these people for years and every time I hear another is closing its doors I cry.

We all need to be understanding of people's situations and do what we can to help each other out.