When he's not in Frankfort representing the 62nd House district, Charlie Hoffman works as a meat cutter at the Kroger in Georgetown. He says even that job is linked to the automaker that pays the salaries of many of the grocery shoppers he sees at the store, so Hoffman is asking his constituents to seek divine intervention on behalf of the company that affects them all. "I asked that our community say prayers for Toyota because Toyota represents so many families," Hoffman said.
Across the region, dealers like Steve Gates in Richmond are taking comfort where they can. "I was scared to death frankly, but I've had people hug me. I've had prayers. I've had a very positive response, so I'm much more confident about our future than I was several days ago," Gates said.
However, each day that brings news of more problems for Toyota is a painful reminder of what's at stake. With production on hold, some of the Georgetown workers offered a helping hand to dealerships. "They're not working on cars, but they are offering coffee, donuts. In fact, they're even mopping the floor," Gates said.