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Community rallies to help a local Korean War veteran clean-up his property

Published: Jan. 28, 2021 at 10:30 PM EST
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ARCHER, Fla. (WCJB) - John Cotman’s property is filled with items and multiple cars he has collected over the past two decades. Now, the community is coming together to help the 85-year-old Korean War veteran restore his property.

This effort was started after Brandon Neal heard from his friend, who happens to be Cotman’s neighbor, about the conditions.

“To see him be in this situation, I don’t think it is right. I’ve experienced other things where I didn’t act, and I regretted it, and I did not want to see this and walk away.”

After seeing the conditions, Neal knew he couldn’t do it alone. He placed ads on Facebook asking for help, and he said the calls were answered.

“That is one of the most touching things. How many different organizations and companies have come to me from these different Facebook groups and stuff saying they want to help. I’ve got a lot of people that want to do everything.”

Cotman said he was away for seven months due to a combination of circumstances, and during that time, his home was broken into, and essential items were stolen. Neal and others are lining up with a helping hand and the supplies to replace what was taken. For that, Cotman is very grateful.

“It means a lot. It means that somebody cares. It shows me that they care,” said Cotman.

Neal offered his time to help a stranger during these trying times.

“We have been living in a pretty tough year, and there is a lot of different circumstances that have put a lot of pressure on everybody. For some reason, there is a lot of tension. I think we need to be reminded that there is a lot of good in the world.”

He hopes this effort makes an impact.

“Sometimes kindness and compassion goes a long way. It has a ripple effect.”

As this clean-up effort continues, Cotman remains a man on a mission.

“I’m going to clean-up all of this stuff right here. I’m going to clean-up my house first. It is supposed to be renovating.”

With these changes coming to Cotman’s property, he remains thankful for the hard work and time everyone is putting forth.

“I appreciate that to the highest. I appreciate it.”

Neal is hoping to host a community clean-up day at Cotman’s property the last weekend in January. To find out more about how you can help or if you would like to view the GoFundMe page created to help John Cotman click here.

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