Tampa couple homeless after wildfire receives car donation

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) — A Tampa couple that moved to Gatlinburg, Tennessee to start a new life was left homeless by wildfires that consumed the tourist town. But Greg and Karen Pelc have received some assistance, just in time for the holidays.

The Pelcs left behind family and friends in the Tampa Bay area to start a new chapter in their lives. Greg got a full-time job at Ober Gatlinburg Resort. But when wildfires swept through Gatlinburg, they grabbed their beloved chihuahuas, Star and Princess, and ran, leaving everything else behind.

Thanks to publicity from the media, a woman in Kentucky, Jenny Blanton, heard about the Pelc’s story, and made the decision to hand over the title to her car.

She’d been planning to trade in the vehicle, but decided that it was more important to help a family in need. Blanton drove to Gatlinburg, and signed over the vehicle to the couple. She says that she hopes other individuals, or car dealerships, will follow suit and help families in Gatlinburg.

Greg Pelc says that the outpouring of support from complete strangers has been overwhelming, and the gift from Blanton will help the couple with the everyday tasks that most of us take for granted.

“It’s going to save us so much,” Pelc says. “We won’t have to walk to do laundry or grocery shopping.”

Greg says that Ober Gatlinburg Resort has told him they’re going to give employees some opportunities for employment, but cannot give him the 40 hours a week that he, and many other employees, have been counting on.

Their daughter, Kelli Martin, started a GoFundMe account to help the Pelcs. To contribute, click this link.

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