Layoffs in the coal industry in Southeastern Kentucky are making an impact on not only the families directly affected but the entire communities they live in.
That's why Saturday thousands of coal industry supporters lined Highway 25E for 17 miles from county line to county line for Hands of Coal Across Bell County.
"Everybody here has got a coal miner in their family," said organizer Joe Harris.
Harris, a Middlesboro business owner, doesn't work in the mines but he says everyone in the county is affected by the recent layoffs.
He put the idea on Facebook and in no time his neighbors jumped on board. He said he had 270,000 hits.
The rest he says took off on its own. Business owners began adopting sections of the highway and helping to get the word out.
Harris estimates 15,000 people came to get their message out.
"I'm out here to support my dad. He's been in the coal mines since he was 15 years old and I don't know what I would do if he lost his job," said 19-year old Alyssa Henderson. "Just because we're a small town doesn't mean we don't need to be heard."
Passerby blew their horns and supporters cheered and waived signs, but the noise settled at 2:30 when everyone joined hands to pray for their future.
"A couple times I drove from county line to county line and I just broke down to cry because we're fighting for our life here," said Harris.