Community pitches in to buy arson victim a new car

Grants Pass, Ore. — Each morning Jed Wytcherly starts his job the same way, prepping fresh ingredients for the day’s meals at Rogue Valley retirement community in Grants Pass.

“I look forward to coming to work,” Wytcherly says.

But on a Monday in early September, Jed’s normal schedule was interrupted by the unexpected.

“I happened to glance out the window and I saw a fire happening,” he recalls. “My car was parked by the fire. It was so close that it melted the whole passenger side of my car.”

Wytcherly would later learn the tree and shrubbery next to his car caught fire due to arson. When it was all said and done, his car was left charred and unsafe to drive. He desperately needed a new one.

“I knew I couldn’t afford it at that time,” he says.

Residents at Rogue Valley retirement community took matters into their own hands.

We just thought he needed help,” says Donna Brooks, who lives at the retirement home. “He is part of our family.”

News about Wytcherly’s misfortune spread fast and before long cash donations were being made. One by one resident’s pitched in raising about $1,000 toward a new car for their friend.

“I was very much surprised,” says Wytcherly. “I Didnt expect it at all.”

After a generous deal from Liberty Automotive he is now back on the road with a new set of wheels.

“2001 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Black, it’s got tinted windows, low miles, has a cd player,” Wytcherly says with pride.

“I am so grateful because without them [Rogue Valley retirement community] this would have never happened.”

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