VISTA, Calif. — A mechanic in Vista is reaching out to his friends in the auto repair industry across the country. Together they hope to give away 15 cars this holiday season. In this Zevely Zone, I went to TJ Crossman's Auto Repair for the first gift of many.
The first recipient was a Vista special education teacher. "We do have a surprise for you today," said TJ. The teacher, Amy Spoelstra, didn't have a clue what was going on. "What is happening here?" asked Amy. TJ told her, "There was a sale on Christmas trees, and we got you a Christmas tree and there is just a little something underneath it."
"Are you serious?," asked Amy as the car was revealed. "Shut up, no, no, no! Oh, my gosh." Amy is a special education teacher at California Avenue School. She received a big hug from her principal Rachel Schmidt. "She is so committed to her students and many who have special needs and I am just so happy for her. There is not a better deserving teacher," said Rachel. "Go check it out." Amy then said, "I can't believe this. I am overwhelmed, I called in sick today."
A fellow teacher nominated Amy to win the car, then TJ Crossman a Vista mechanic with a giving heart did the rest. "It's got a new head gasket, new spark plugs," said TJ. "She told me what an awesome teacher you were, what an awesome person you are and how much you give back and that your car failed on you a couple of months ago and you've been Ubering to school and Ubering to work and making things happen without complaining."
"There are more important things than us in this world and it's all about those kids," said Amy. "This is not real." The 2012 Ford Focus is all Amy's along with a television close-up she'll never forget. "You're from the news? The actual news? Hi! Am I live?" asked Amy when we approached with our camera.
Amy's old car tanked on her and sucked her dry with repair bills, so the new one needed gas money too. "Somebody even threw in a couple hundred dollars in gas cards as well," said TJ. "I don't even know what to say," said Amy with her eyes filling with tears. "Merry Christmas, you're a great person you deserve it, "said TJ.
A dedicated special needs teacher who just once had a need of her own. "The magic happens when you hand over the keys," said TJ. "Ahhh! I am crazy excited, this is so cool," said Amy. "I have a car!! Whoa!!."
TJ says cars will be given away by his friends who own repair shops in Florida, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Ohio, North Carolina and other states all month long.
For more information on TJ's shop click here.
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