Windham – This year’s economy tried to be the Grinch that stole Christmas for some Windham boys and girls until the employees at Harbison Walker put a damper on the Grinch’s plans. When the employees at the local factory heard there were kids at Windham Katherine Thomas Elementary School who were unable to participate in the school’s Annual PTO-sponsored Santa Shop, they sprang into action. The Harbison-Walker employees knew it was time to “Play Santa” and quickly took up a collection of money and donated it to the school. The employees and management willingly dug deep into their pockets, raising $546 for the kids to use to purchase gifts for their family members.
Harbison-Walker’s Plant Manager Dave Apthorpe stated that this is what a small community does for its members. He also said that the plant employs numerous folks from the small community who just wanted to help out the kids, so they did. For many of the employees this has not been a good year. The company has periodically had layoffs due to the economy, affecting many local residents’ finances. But this didn’t matter. The employees anted up to help make things a little brighter for the kids.
On the receiving end of the gift, the school was overwhelmed with gratitude, as were the children as they were able to purchase gifts for their families. Principal Robert Kujala expressed his gratitude as well; stating that they were totally surprised and delighted by the generousity of the Harbison-Walker employees and the management staff at during a tough economic climate. He offered his appreciation for their commitment to the kids in the community.
The school kids expressed their gratitude by making thank you cards and cookies which they sent across town to the local facility.
Harbison-Walker is located within the village limits, employs about 95 hourly employees and 25 salaried employees at the Windham facility.