Phoenix school aide gets awarded $5K for new car by Surprise Squad

Surprise Squad is sponsored by Valley Toyota Dealers
Cindy works as a school aide at Rose Lane Elementary School in Phoenix. Surprise Squad is sponsored by Valley Toyota Dealers.
Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 4:41 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Cindy works as a school aide at Rose Lane Elementary School in Phoenix. She lives close to the campus, so she used to be able to walk to work. Unfortunately, she’s had some recent knee issues, and her car has seen better days. These problems were starting to weigh heavily on her, so her friend and co-worker Jennifer reached out to the Arizona’s Family Surprise Squad to see if the team could lift her spirits.

The Squad, along with Arizona Family’s Gina Maravilla, found Cindy waiting on her driveway outside her home. She thought Jennifer was going to pick her up so Cindy could go with her to a doctor’s appointment. Little did she know she was about to get the surprise of her life. Maravilla walked up to a confused Cindy and gave her a bouquet of flowers and a hug. Cindy started talking about her job and the troubles she’s been recently facing.

“I can see your heart. You really love those kids, don’t you?” Maravilla asked. “Oh yeah. I have grandkids everywhere there. They call me grandma, and I love them,” Cindy explained.

Cindy told Maravilla the students are like her own kids and that she gets so much love from all of them. “I’m blessed to be able to give to them and be there for them.”

“She’s a wonderful person,” her friend Jennifer added. “Everybody adores her. We adore her. She’s been my best friend. When I first started at Rose Lane, Cindy was right there to help me, encourage me to just keep my chin up.”

“Because of how much you give to our community and to our kids, we here at Arizona’s Family Surprise Squad, along with our partners at Valley Toyota Dealers, we wanted to give this to you,” Maravilla said as she handed Cindy an envelope that had $5,000 inside.

“Oh, the prayers I had this morning when I woke up,” Cindy said as she unsealed the envelope and saw what was inside. “Oh my goodness.” Cindy said she plans to use the money to get better transportation so she can work with kids during the summer.