Community Comes Together to Help North Medford Senior

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Tue, April 3 2012 at 6:29 PM, Updated: Tue, April 3 2012 at 7:34 PM

Jase Philby, a North Medford senior was devastated when he learned his truck was one of five Chevys that were stolen and damaged last week.

But the community has banded together, hoping to help the young man who says it's the truck he wants to keep for the rest of his life.

Employees at Leif's Auto Collision Center in Phoenix sanded and worked away Tuesday afternoon.

"We're doing a little bit here and there throughout the day," said Josh Jump, Manager at Leif's Auto Collision.

Employees volunteered to help Philby repair damage to the truck he's been restoring for his senior project.

It was stolen and trashed last week when thieves went on a spree and stole five trucks between Medford and Central Point.

"It looked done for," said Philby.

"It's just a lot of time consumed and then this happened and it was wasted," he continued.

As Josh Jump sanded the back of the truck, he explained what it looked like when it came into the shop.

"This whole area, all the way down here where Vic is sanding now, was probably pushed in almost a foot," he remembered.

Philby's truck was given to him by his brother and he said he considers it a family car that he'll work on throughout his entire life.

"[I] got more and more attached to it the more I worked on it. That's why I say it's the one, because I want to keep it forever," said Philby.

"It broke our heart, sad story and this is a way we could help," said Jump, who also acts as Philby's mentor on his senior project.

But it's not just Leif's Auto Collision that's helping Jase with his cause. Roughly 15 other people and businesses in the area are also lending a helping hand.

"I'm so grateful it's not even funny, it just amazes me how much heart people have nowadays," marveled Philby.

Philby says he wants to pay the kindness forward in the future, hoping he will be able to help someone else as much as the community has helped him.

Other employees at Leif's said the Philby family has been a joy to work with and it's neat to be helping such a tight knit family.

The due date for Jase Philby's senior project was Tuesday, but teachers have given him a break.

Police told NBC5 News the thieves have not been caught yet. However authorities continued to follow up on all tips and leads.

The following are some of the people and businesses the Philby family would like to thank for their generosity:

Mr. and Mrs. Anderson, Sky Oak Wealth Management, New Stage Auto, Mankins Motor Sports, Don, Rogue Street Rods, Industrial Finishes, and other people who have anonymously donated money.

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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