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Local non-profit to help mother rebuild home following Ridgecrest quakes

President of organization inspired to help after seeing 23ABC story
Posted at 5:56 PM, Jan 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-10 21:07:02-05

BAKERSFIELD, CA. — We first brought you the story of Cristal Hernandez, 25, during our special for the six month anniversary of the Ridgecrest earthquakes.

A touching moment in the piece inspired Bakersfield resident Tony Martinez to take action.

"When her son, came up to her and hugged her, I said, we have to do this," Martinez said.

Hernandez is a single mother of three, who was forced out of her home following the earthquakes in July. Our story revealed how her home is still damaged and that she doesn't have the money to rebuild.

"It is just a memory now, because I can't afford to fix it," Hernandez said.

Martinez is now on a mission to change that. He's the president of the local non-profit Rebuilding Together Kern County.

"What we do is we rehab homes for veterans, seniors, disabled, low income families at no cost," Martinez said.

Thursday night, Martinez got approval from the board to move forward with a project to help Hernandez and possibly other families impacted in Ridgecrest.

Hernandez was beyond grateful after learning about the news Friday afternoon.

"Just hearing that little bit that they want to help, you don't understand. It is overwhelming, but it is a good feeling," Martinez said.

Martinez plans on heading to Ridgecrest to see the damage and talk with other organizations to get a better idea of the work that still needs to be done.

"With this project, it is one that we know if get in there, and get it done, it will really impact Cristal and her children especially," Martinez said.

Martinez said that they will need volunteers, other community partners and donations to help with the project. For more information about Rebuilding Together Kern County, click here.

You can also contact Tony Martinez at (661) 331-1612.