GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - It's a chilly day for a car wash. But the folks taking part in the event outside Audiowave in Gautier say their hearts are warmed by the outpouring of love that's been shown.
That's because the car wash is a fundraiser for the family of 12-year-old Garrett Morgan, who was tragically killed in a hunting accident involving a tree stand. It happened in in Atalla County the day after Christmas.
Garrett was a 7th grade student at Vancleave Middle School and played football for the Vancleave "Raiders" Football League. His family and friends say he loved being outdoors playing football, fishing, and hunting.
Kaysha Gamble came up with the idea. She is a longtime friend of the boy's mother, Jamie Morgan.
"She lived in Gautier, I lived in Pascagoula," said Gamble, "But we grew up together."
When she learned of the tragedy on Facebook, Gamble quickly decided on organizing the benefit car wash.
"Raise money to help with expenses. Whatever they need it for."
Steve Torres trusted the car wash crew with his '68 Chrysler 300. When he learned about the cause, there was no hesitation to help out.
"If the country would do more looking after each other, trying to help each other, you know, it would be so much a better place," said Torres.
Kelcey Couevas never met young Garrett Morgan. But the tragic news prompted her generous donation.
"One hundred and fifteen dollars. Because. I mean, it's really sad that someone could lose someone so young. So, I just thought that I would do something good," said Couevas.
As news of the benefit spread on social media, soon cars lined-up. Some folks simply dropped off donations, without getting a car wash.
"I saw the sign. So, me and my wife decided to come by and give a donation," said Frederick Nicholson.
Those who organized the benefit, who made the signs and washed the cars, say it was definitely worth their time on this chilly morning, to help out a family that is hurting.
"It feels good to be able to help people out and make a difference," said Braden.
The benefit car wash raised nearly $800.
According to Garrett Morgan's obituary, a memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 31, at 4pm at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, 6517 Jim Ramsay Road in Vancleave, where family and friends may visit two hours prior to the service.