Surprise Squad gifts $5K to Arizona mother, domestic violence survivor

Surprise Squad is sponsored by Valley Toyota Dealers
Crystal is a single mom raising her four children in the Valley, and has never lost her sense of optimism that better things lie ahead.
Updated: Nov. 4, 2022 at 7:00 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Crystal is a single mom raising her four children in the Valley. They live in a trailer, and despite her daily challenges, she’s never lost the sense of optimism that better things lie ahead. Her upbeat attitude is part of the reasons two different friends nominated her for a visit from Arizona’s Family Surprise Squad. Crystal answered the door, and when she saw 3TV’s Tess Rafols and the Surprise Squad crew standing there, she burst into tears.

“I’m just feeling very blessed. God is so good,” Crystal said after Rafols asked why she was crying. She explained that it had taken her many years, but in October 2021, she left a domestic violence relationship and moved back to her home state of Arizona with her kids.

She now lives in a small trailer. Even though it’s not a traditional house most people are raised in, she said she feels blessed to be able to own something that she gets to call home. She converted the room in the back into a bunkhouse for her four kids. They all have their own beds, and Crystal said it was big enough to do cartwheels in.

“We just have a lot of fun,” Crystal told Rafols. “We have less stuff, less toys, less things to clean. More time to focus on the family. So it’s been a really cool blessing in disguise to live simply. I spent a long time – my whole life—in a victim mentality. And I think when you make that decision to not be that way anymore, I have a different perspective and try to find the blessings in life.”

Crystal’s friend Danielle was visiting when the crew arrived and vouched for Crystal’s positive outlook on life. She said she’s the most humble, caring, loving person around and is always asking Danielle if she can do anything to make Danielle’s life easier.

Rafols handed Crystal an envelope. “We are hoping that this can help you out. So in conjunction with Arizona’s Family Surprise Squad and your Valley Toyota Dealers, we hope this will help and give you that little hand up that you may need right now,” Rafols said.

Crystal opened up the envelope and took out a slip of paper. Her hands began to tremble, and she burst into tears when she read that she was awarded $5,000. “That’s everything. So many things. All the things. That’s everything. Thank you,” Crystal said.