KION's Recycle-a-Ride giveaway ended Tuesday at Inner Light Ministries in Soquel, where mom Claudia Garcia was surprised by co-workers, community donors and family while working at one of her several cleaning jobs to support a family of five.
She is raising five boys ages 13 to two years old as a single mom. Her son, Angel Carrasco, nominated his mom without her knowing, writing to KION that his mom keeps them off the streets by making sure he and his brothers are involved in sports and extra-curricular activities, but it's hard for them all to get around in a small unreliable car.
In one part of the nomination letter, Angel writes, "Most of the time she doesn't know that I see all of her struggles with giving us what she can," adding that he wants to "give back to her for all those sad times."
With tears in her eyes and hugging her children tight, Claudia said she was in shock and thanked everyone for the gift, promising to take her kids to Raging Waters in a few weekends. Claudia said before the van, she would sometimes be forced to leave her oldest son home or make him walk to school because he couldn't fit in the car.
Recycle-a-Ride has gifted four other Central Coast families cars, vans and sedans over the last year through the generous donations from local businesses like MY Nissan, Cardinale, AAA and Malone's Collision Repair.