PHOENIX - What would you do if you could not afford to buy birthday or Christmas presents for your kids?
A Valley woman, who unexpectedly found herself caring for her five grandchildren, faced that situation until the folks from Recycle Your Bicycle stepped in.
Vivian Dominguez never thought she would be raising five kids at this time in her life. And she never thought she would have to ask for help. "We were never on the receiving end," said Vivian. "We never thought we would get to that point."
But, when her daughter lost all parental rights, that is exactly where Vivian found herself. Taking in the children meant her and her husband had to remodel their home to add bedrooms. That took a bite of their retirement savings. So, when birthdays and Christmas came around, there was no money left.
"It was heartbreaking. At the time, they understood, but it was hard for me to understand," says Vivian.
That's when she learned about Recycle Your Bicycle. The organization takes used bikes, fixes them up like new, and gives them to kids in need, free-of-charge.
Vivian's granddaughter Viviana, gets a big smile when she remembers getting her first bicycle on Christmas morning.
"I was so excited. I started screaming and my grandparents came out and thought there was a fire or something, but it was a bike," she said.
For Vivian, it was even more than that.
"It may look like just a bike, but it was way more than that. It was the hope that held this family together through everything," she said.
You can help make more amazing memories like this by helping the folks at Recycle Your Bicycle in one of three different ways. You can donate a bike you are no longer using by taking it to any Earnhardt Auto Center. You can also donate money to help pay for spare parts and tools to fix up the bikes, or volunteer to fix up the bikes yourself.