The past few days have been difficult for former Erie Coke employees after last week’s shutdown of the plant.

In the spirit of Christmas, the Steelworkers Union gathered presents and other donations to give to the displaced workers at their union hall.

Syeda Abbas was at the emotional event when the workers were given their gifts.

“Just getting stuff for my grandson. Every little bit helps,” said Shannon Sovi, former Erie Coke employee.

Shannon Sovi has worked at Erie Coke for four years. After it’s shutdown, employees are now forced to look for new jobs.

During the time of giving, the Steelworkers Union is making sure they are offering help to displaced workers.

“It’s a blessing. You have a lot of people trying to help out. It’s messed up the way things ended up happening and the way the company did us, so you’ve got the community coming in and helping us out,” said Sovi.

The goal is to help families give something to their children on Christmas Day.

Union Representative Todd Clary says the employees are not being forgotten during this tough time.

“They are thankful. For some people this is really going to make their Christmas in light of the bad news that they received on Wednesday and Thursday,” said Todd Clary, Union Representative.

Clary said progress is being made.

“We’re getting a lot of outreach from a lot of companies looking to hopefully hire some of these displaced workers. It’s a very good turn out at the Career Link,” said Clary.

Sovi has already started applying to jobs and said the union has made that easier.

“That’s where I’m getting some of my connections that I went ahead and turned my resume into. May not be as much as I made down there, but right now every bit helps,” said Sovi.