Let's Go Places: Big, little brother build car to build relationship

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

Ray Hager and Evan Brown are three years into rebuilding a Volkswagen bug, but five years into building their relationship as brothers with Big Brothers Big Sisters.

They've become a great example of what the organization aims to achieve, so it was no surprise when we told them we wanted to do a story on their relationship, but we had much more up our sleeves -- $1,000 to be exact.

"This is quite the surprise. Incredible," Hager said.

He has been Evan's big brother for more than five years now and says it was a decision he'd been considering for a while.

"It's something that was on my heart for many years and I was reading a book by Tony Dungy called 'The Mentor Leader' and he mentioned Big Brothers Big Sisters. And as soon as I read that I got online and registered to be a 'big,'" said Hager.

The two were paired up soon after and have been having a whole lot of fun ever since.

"It's just fun to like hang around someone I can relate with," Evan said. "We just went rock climbing so that was super fun."

A lot of their time has been spent restoring a 1974 Volkswagen bug.

"When we bought it it was gutted; there was nothing in it, no engine. It didn't run so over the past what, three years, we've been working on it and got it from nothing to at least running," explains Hager. "It's really just to teach him life skills that he can use when he grows up and has his own family someday."

Evan's mom, Cathy, told us she already sees changes in her son.

"He was a lot more reserved before, and now he's more sociable. They've been to car events with the bug before and he's out there talking to people in the community so I think it's really matured him," she said.

The Let's Go Places initiative is a partnership between Arizona's Family and Valley Toyota Dealers designed to recognize and reward people who are making a difference in the Valley.

[MORE: Let's Go Places stories]


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