LAUREL, Neb. (KCAU) — Laurel residents said they hope coming together as a community can help everyone heal during this difficult time.

Izabella Kock works at Main Street Apothecary in Laurel. She said Gene Twiford, who passed away last week, used to play a friendly prank everyday.

“Gene used to come in here and he would drink coffee and he would try to slip us washers to pay for his coffee, so we just thought it would be a nice thing to have people come in for coffee and pay with washers just to remember him,” said Kock.

They sold coffees for free to any customers who brought a washer. Marc Rakow was a pastor in Laurel for four years. He said there’s no easy way to heal from a tragedy like this.

“Laurel unites during times of both triumph and tragedy, so we knew that they’d come together as a family like they always have so that gave us a lot of encouragement but we were shocked, you don’t expect especially a town of this size to hear news like this,” said Rackow.

Community members surprised the local fire department with a check for more than $2,000. Laurel resident Diana Badley said it’s a small thank you for their help during this tragedy.

“In a small town like this the first responders are 100% volunteers and they are literally putting themselves out there for nothing because they care for their friends,” said Badley.

There will be a memorial service for the three members of the Twiford family on Friday.