Family washing cars to help pay loved one’s funeral expenses

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by Tiffany Craig / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on February 20, 2014 at 12:26 PM

CLEVELAND, Texas -- On E. Houston Street, there's a car wash fundraiser going on that's making people stop, or at least do a double take.

The signs read, "CAR WASH DONATIONS FOR FUNERAL EXP."

"They're standing out there with the signs stating that we're doing this for a funeral," said Connie Chiado. 'It's not for fun and games. We need to bury my cousin."

Her cousin, Ray Farmer, died mysteriously in his sleep. He wasn't in the best of health and lived on disability, but his wife Shana woke up Saturday morning and he was dead. Shana was still in shock.

"I can't even believe it's happening," said Shana.

Ray was a father of three, grandfather of one, and his family has no money to bury him. His wife of 22 years has turned to friends and family for help.

The fundraiser started as a car wash on Monday. By Tuesday, BBQ was being sold too and every bit counts.

"There's over $1,300 in two days," said Ray's aunt Betty Waller.

Shawn Grady didn't know Ray or his family, but he stopped by to volunteer his time.

"I have a friend that actually passed Valentine's Day, two to three days ago now and it hit a little close to home," said Grady.

No one here is asking for a handout. They know how to work hard.

"We're not rich people," said Connie Chiado. "We flip burgers for a living. We work on cars for a living."

Now, they are working on raising cash. They will be out from dawn to dusk until Friday in the parking lot next to the Auto Zone in Cleveland.

They need about $9,000 and already have $2,000 from the fundraiser. Ray will be buried on Saturday.

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