PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- One of the first viewers 3 On Your Side was able to help in January was 19-year-old Martin Hernandez. In a previous 3 On Your Side report, Martin told us how someone stole his mom's SUV, which had his wheelchair ramp on the back. Although police recovered the vehicle, the thieves made off with his wheelchair ramp connected to the back.

Martin's positive and outgoing personality inspired viewers, including an anonymous woman who gave 3 On Your Side a check for $800 to give to Martin. And we did. "This (check) will definitely help out. I appreciate you going out of your way to do this, whoever this was," Martin said about the anonymous woman. "God bless you, and I appreciate it so much."

And because of 3 On Your Side's initial report, money kept coming in. In fact, viewers wound up giving Martin over $5,000, which is more than enough to pay for a new wheelchair ramp. "A lot of people keep telling me not to lose faith in people. I never did because there are so many good people out there," Martin told 3 On Your Side. "When bad things happen, good people come together."

3 On Your Side also helped a Queen Creek man named Sonny Buttrell. He paid $275 to see the LA Dodgers play here in the Valley. However, because of COVID, the game was canceled, and Sonny said he couldn't his money back from TicketCenter.com, where he bought them.

But once 3 On Your Side got involved, Sonny received his money. "From the moment that my wife first contacted 3 On Your Side, I don't think it's been a week, and we got our money," he said. "I'm just blown away. So I really, really, really appreciate your help."

Howard Kamarata says he's also glad he contacted 3 On Your Side. "3 On Your Side really came through for me," Howard told us, smiling.

Howard paid a licensed contractor $625 to fix his broken air conditioner. He was supposed to be reimbursed the entire amount from American Home Shield, his home warranty company. But after asking for his money for six months, he was never reimbursed.

Once 3 On Your Side got involved, that changed, and Howard immediately got a check. "It was incredible," Howard said. "I couldn't do it in six months, and you guys did it in one day."

We're coming off a record-breaking year for the amount of money 3 On Your Side recovered for viewers. And we're already off to a good start for this year because we recovered $7,611 for our viewers during the month of January.

Gary Harper's 3 On Your Side reports air weeknights on 3TV News at 9.

 
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