NewsCovering Kern County


Ridgecrest family gifted a car to help get son back and forth to school

Posted at 3:30 PM, Dec 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-23 18:30:44-05

A local family received an early Christmas surprise thanks to the Ridgecrest community.

The Haywoods live 15 miles east of Ridgecrest in Inyokern.

Their son, Terrance, is a seventh-grade student at Murray Middle School.

Terrance is on the basketball and on Tuesday, while on their way to his game, their vehicle caught fire, leaving the family the without a car.

One of Terrance’s basketball coaches, Danny Griffith and the wife of Ridgecrest Police Chief Jed McLaughlin, Katherine McLaughlin, came up with a master plan to find a loaner vehicle for the Haywood’s to use until they got a new car.

“Katherine started making some calls,” said Griffith. “The response and outpouring she received was overwhelming.”

Some of the Terrance’s teammates even donated money.

With the help of team parents, coaches, and local businesses, within 24-hours they were able to purchase a reliable car.

“I was surprised at how quickly we were able to make it happen,” said Griffith.

On Thursday, coaches told the family that the team had a scrimmage, just to get them to school for the big surprise.

Chief McLaughlin picked them up and drove them.

Not only were the Haywoods gifted with a Toyota Corolla, but they also received gift cards for gas and groceries.  

“They were floored,” said Griffith.

Thanks to Griffith and McLaughlin’s quick thinking, and the generosity of the Ridgecrest community, the Haywoods will now be able to get their son back and forth to school and basketball practice.

“The acts of kindness that run rampant in Ridgecrest are pretty amazing,” said Griffith.