The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


First response

Church serves those unemployed by Pillowtex Corp. layoff, the largest in N.C. history

Patsy Harrison sits at the window of her father's house with her 2-year-old grandson, Brandon, who waits with great excitement for the garbage truck to pass by. Brandon is recovering from an ear infection, and Harrison's father is recuperating from two small strokes that have affected his balance.

"My dad was saying what a terrible time he picked to get sick," she says, "but I said, 'I don't have a job. This was a good time.' "

Harrison and her husband, Larry, both lost their jobs with the closing and bankruptcy of Pillowtex Corp. in July — the largest permanent layoff in North Carolina history. They, along with 4,340 others in Cabarrus and Rowan counties, find themselves facing a future with no health insurance, no severance or vacation pay, and limited prospects for future employment.

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February issue


Embracing diversity