A local family of five in town is getting a boost from a fund created by New England Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft in an effort to raise money to replace their vehicle after it went up in flames.
Wendy Powell, a pharmacy technician at CVS on Central Street, has three children, Sandra Doiron, 17, a senior, Robert Marcotte, 16, a junior, and Ian Marcotte, 14, a freshman, all attending Foxboro High School.
Wendy and Michael Powell parked their 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee at the TD Bank parking lot in town on Aug. 20.
Wendy and her oldest daughter were waiting for a bank teller to assist them when they noticed Michael popping the hood from the passenger seat while he was waiting for them. Then they saw a huge cloud of smoke pour out from under the hood and immediately had the bank call the fire and police departments.
“We ran outside to see what was going on and in a matter of seconds, the fire started too quickly (and) spread throughout the car. The windshield, front, and rear windows blew out, (the) entire interior melted, and tires started to melt. My daughter ran to notify people at the restaurant next door to clear cars from the area where our vehicle was parked,” Wendy said.
Wendy’s son Ian was in the back seat, but was able to get out of the car before the flames engulfed the vehicle.
“I thought the car was overheating so I popped the hood and saw fire behind the area of the glove compartment and quickly grabbed valuables that were closest to me, “ Michael said.
The family does not know what exactly caused the fire.
“My daughter set up the GoFundMe because our family needs help. We do not have a lot of wiggle room in our budget to buy a new car. Insurance is only giving back one-quarter of what I had initially paid for the truck and I don’t have rental coverage,” Wendy said.
Sandra Doiron decided to start the GoFundMe page for their new vehicle because she said her mom needs help coming up with the money for a new car, which isn’t very easy.
“I believe the most devastating thing about the whole incident is that it left my mom in such a hole. It scared her and I feel like she always has a lot to do, so with no car it makes it that much harder,” her daughter said.
“My mom works very hard and all her money goes towards bills, food, household needs, and our (her three children’s) necessities, whether it be for school or just clothes and such of that nature,” Sandra said, adding many have made donations to their GoFundMe page so far, but as of earlier this week, it had not yet reached the amount they need.
Kasey Hopewell, the store manager at CVS Health in Foxboro where Doiron’s mother works said: “Wendy is one of the most admirable woman I’ve ever had the pleasure of working beside. She is one of the most hardworking, selfless people I’ve ever met, never mind a wonderful mother always putting her kids first. She is an absolute joy to have on my team at CVS. If anyone deserves this assistance it’s Wendy and her amazing kids.”
On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the Patriots stated in an email that the Partners in Patriotism Fund (PIP Fund) has pledged an initial $3,000 donation and up to $5,000 to Wendy Powell to support the purchase of a new vehicle.
Additionally, the PIP Fund is encouraging the community to help support Powell and her family in their time of need through donations to a GoFundMe page set up in her name with a goal of raising $5,000. If the GoFundMe page reaches its $5,000 goal by the end of September, the PIP Fund will donate an additional $2,000 to match the $5,000 raised by the community and provide the Powell family with a total of $10,000 toward the purchase of a new vehicle, it said in the statement.
“Wendy and her family find themselves in a very difficult situation following the sudden loss of their vehicle last week,” said PIP Fund Grants Committee Chairman Jimmy McGowan. “We have seen Foxboro rally around its neighbors time and time again and hope this matching grant can encourage the community to the help the Powells in their time of need. We look forward to partnering with the community on this initiative in the hopes of making a meaningful donation to Wendy and her family.”