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Local man receives car from community

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Rhinelander, Wis. (WAOW) -- A Crandon man got the gift of a lifetime from his community on Saturday.

James Aldridge rode his bike from his home in Crandon to his job as a CNA in Rhinelander every day, a two and a half hour commute each way.

All of that changed when he met Scott Brass, a sales consultant at Rhinelander GM.

Brass said he noticed Aldridge riding his bike along the road every day, and left early from work one day to catch up to him.

Brass told Aldridge that he had started a Facebook fundraiser to buy him a car.

"I started the donation process without even knowing if he had a driver's license or anything," Brass said. "I was just trying to help."

After that, Aldridge said he started getting stopped by people on the street who knew him from Brass's Facebook post.

"I would see random people on the street and they'd be like 'Oh yeah, you're the famous guy,'" he said.

Meanwhile, the amount of donations was skyrocketing.

In just over a week, the community had raised $22,000 to buy Aldridge a brand new car.

The response has left him speechless.

"From that moment to this moment, I'm just blown away," he said.

Aldridge plans to use his new car to continue to do what he loves best: helping others.

He said he learned how to care for others through his experience being raised by his grandmother.

"My whole purpose of being here is to help others," Aldridge said. "So for others to help me, it has kind of just made me more motivated to keep doing what I'm doing."

The money raised also covered Aldridge's insurance for a year, and multiple gas cards.

Natalie Sopyla

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