Grandmother given custody of grandchildren, given car from Valley organization

Posted at 6:20 PM, Jan 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-11 20:22:32-05

For Brenda Sohl, holding the keys to her own car once again is like a second dream come true. Her first dream: being awarded custody of her three grandchildren.

“It's amazing, I'd like to be able to speak to every one of them and give them a hug,”  said Sohl about the Caliber Collision dream team that fixed the car she will now be driving.

Caliber Collision in Tempe takes part in a program called Recycle Ride. They then partner with organizations like Family Promise who help families get back on their feet and gift them back cars.

The grandmother reached out to Family Promise after losing everything in a court battle to get custody of her grandkids after her daughter could no longer care for them.

“They've always been a part of my life...," she said. "So you do whatever you can to keep your family together."

Sohl first lost her savings, her home and eventually her job as a live-in caregiver.

“After I got the kids, I couldn't do the live-in anymore because I would be gone for four to five days a week,” Sohl said.

When she could no longer make her car payments, it was repossessed. Sohl told ABC15 she owed less than $2,000.

The family found themselves walking or taking the bus to the grocery store — often times having to make several trips to get everything they needed.

“I tried putting everything in a suitcase and rolling it home; but I still couldn't get everything I need in there to feed three kids," she said. "I was sunk, but I knew I could still do this. “

A few months ago, Sohl got the call. Family Promise had nominated her to be a recipient of a Recycled Ride and the team and Caliber Collision would be working to get her back in the driver’s seat.

Bruce Dennis, a spokesperson with Caliber Collision, explained that seeing Sohl's reaction made it all worth it.

"To hand them the keys to their new vehicle and see the joy; the hope they have on their faces," Dennis said. "When my crew sees that — they're ready to do another car. This is not work to us."