Employee surprised with car at Salem KFC

Crystal Lachance won a new car on Tuesday thanks to a wish-granting initiative at KFC. (Courtesy/KFC)

When Crystal Lachance showed her 9-year-old son her brand-new car on Tuesday, he told her: “My dreams are coming true and yours are too now.”

For more than a year, La Chance walked an hour each way to get to and from the KFC on 3133 Broadway Street N.E., where she works as a shift lead. On weekends, she’d often walk home after her shift ended at 11 p.m.

Four months ago, Lachance said one of her roommates stole $3,000 she had been saving for a car, but she couldn’t prove it.

Then I kind of gave up on it,” Lachance said.

On Tuesday, she was surprised at work with a white Dodge Charger thanks to an employee wish-granting initiative at KFC.

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At the time, she said she didn’t know how to react.

“I’m not one to be in the spotlight, it’s all weird for me,” Lachance said. “I would have never thought something like this would happen to me and it did.”

When she was walking home from work that day, she said she started to scream she was so excited.

“I still can’t believe it’s real,” she said Wednesday.

Lachance has one more hurdle before she can take off on her new wheels – she needs to get her driver’s license. Having that will also allow her to move up to assistant manager, she said.

The single mom said this is the first summer she and her son haven’t gone to the beach.

“My life has been a mess for the last two years,” she said. “Good things don’t really happen to me.”

When Lachance showed her son the car that they would soon be driving around, they talked about all the things they would be able to do now – like go grocery shopping without hauling an armful of bags home.

“It’s definitely a life changer, it is going to make everything so much easier, less waiting for the bus. We have the opportunity to do more things that we want to do,” Lachance said.

Normally, Lachance said she drops her son off at daycare in the mornings so she can take the bus and get to work on time.

Now that she’ll be driving, she gets 40 extra minutes with her son in the morning.

“He is going through such a hard time right now,” she said. “He’s pretty attached with me and just wants to spend as much time with me.”

When Lachance’s manager, Miranda Marston, saw the contest on the KFC website, Lachance was the first person that popped into her head.

“She’s kind of been through some stuff and she’s stuck it out here,” Marston said, adding that Lachance came to work every day no matter what.

When Marston found out that Lachance had won, she scheduled Lachance’s shift for later in the day, and another store manager drove her to take her permit test.

“She really does deserve it,” Marston said. “She’s a pretty awesome girl.”

Have a tip? Contact reporter Saphara Harrell at 503-549-6250, [email protected] or @daisysaphara.