PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A Phoenix mom and her 7-year-old daughter are grateful for the generosity of a stranger.
Arizona's Family interviewed Trakese Lewis and her daughter La'Ryann at a backpack giveaway event at South Mountain Community College on Saturday, July 27.
At the time, La'Ryann was wearing her lopsided glasses. One of the pieces of her frame was missing because her little brother accidentally broke them while they were playing with a basketball.
During the interview last month, she confidently explained the free backpack she picked had a lot of colors, and she liked the way it looked on her.
Little did La'Ryann know that interview would catch the attention of Arizona's Family viewer Lesley Gercke.
"It was wild," said Gercke. "I was just sitting there just watching the news, and I saw her glasses were broken."
"I thought if she was at the back-to-school drive, then she probably needs help with glasses, and I just felt compelled to do it," added Gercke.
Gercke posted on social media she hoped to get in touch with someone at Arizona's Family to connect her with Trakese.
Arizona's Family reached out to Trakese who welcomed the help. She's been down on her luck lately.
"I lost my car, lost my job. I just recently got a job back now, so I'm working on transportation," she said.
That's why she delayed taking La'Ryann to the eye doctor. La'Ryann's glasses had been broken for about a year.
"I wasn't able to afford to pay for the new pair because I didn't have the insurance at the time," she said.
This weekend, Gercke met Trakese at the Nationwide Vision near Interstate 10 and Ray in Ahwatukee.
The eye doctor checked La'Ryann's eyes, and the third-grader picked out two new colorful eyeglass frames.
Trakese and Gercke hugged, both thankful for the opportunity to help each other.
Gercke, who had been teased as a kid, didn't want La'Ryann to go to school with broken glasses.
"Because kids are so mean to begin with and when you have something that's amiss, they just pick on the smallest things," she explained. "I just thought she should start a fresh year with a fresh pair of glasses."
Gercke, who has been going through her own health struggles, said helping a perfect stranger, in turn, helps her. Gercke's late mother's motto was always "it takes a village" to raise a child.
"For her it means, she's going to be able to do a lot better as far as in school, so with not being able to see, she's gotten a little bit behind and this will help her to catch back up," said Trakese. "This came out of nowhere like a lifesaver. It's really awesome."
Nationwide Vision was inspired by the story and decided to donate a second pair of eyeglasses to La'Ryann, so she had a backup pair. This time, both pairs have a warranty just in case there's another accident.