A valley woman thought she was the victim of a prank when she was surprised with a brand-new refrigerator while ‘window shopping’ at Lowes.
"[In] 2012 we both moved out to Arizona and we’ve been best friends ever since," said Crystal describing her relationship with Tammy and her family.
"It’s just been overwhelming for them," said Crystal. "He picked up a second job. She works constantly. I see them struggle all the time and I don’t want to see none [sic] of my friends ever struggle."
Crystal nominated her friend Tammy’s family because their refrigerator broke, and they couldn’t afford to replace it.
Arizona’s Family Surprise Squad went undercover at Lowe’s, where Crystal persuaded her friend to check prices for a future purchase.
[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona's Family Surprise Squad]
3TV meteorologist April Warnecke disguised herself as a Lowe’s sales associate.
Tammy and Crystal began looking at new refrigerators when they came to a very special one selected for Tammy, with a surprise inside.
She was told to open the doors and look inside, as Warnecke approached them.
"It’s pretty spacious," said Warnecke.
"Yeah, just like my old one, the way it’s built," said Tammy.
"I think the price might be on the back of that right there," said Warnecke gesturing to an Arizona’s Family Surprise Squad sign placed inside the refrigerator.
"Do you want to check what it is?" she said.
A camera placed inside the refrigerator captured Tammy unsuspecting as she reached into the refrigerator, took out the sign and turned the card around.
"I’m not with Lowe’s," said Warnecke, revealing the logo underneath her Lowe’s vest.
"I’m with Arizona’s Family Surprise Squad and if you like this refrigerator, there’s actually one boxed up and it’s going to be delivered to your house," she said.
"Are you serious? Oh my, god, thank you so much! This is still kind of shocking because it has my name. Is this real? Are you guys punking me?” said Tammy.
"We’re not punking you," Warnecke laughed.
"Did you know about this?" Tammy asked Crystal. Her friend smiled, nodding ‘yes’.
"Oh, my god, I love you!" Tammy said giving Crystal a big hug. "I love you! Thank you so much!"
"I appreciate it," said Tammy.
"So, you were surprised?" asked Warnecke.
"Yes. She told me we were going to look at refrigerators because I have to be at work later on," said Tammy. "And I’m like ‘Okay. Sure. I don’t have any money for them, but we can look for them’."
"We heard you could really use a refrigerator right now," said Warnecke.
"Yes, I can," answered Tammy. "Thank you, guys so much."
Warnecke asked Tammy to tell her about the difficulties her family has been facing.
"Our van broke down. The axle was over $600, and we pay $1,300 in rent,” explained Tammy. "We had to put the refrigerator on hold. We didn’t know what we was [sic] going to do. It was rough. Really rough."
"How long has it been like that?" asked Warnecke.
"Our fridge went out about two months ago. We were saving up and then all of a sudden, the van-and we had to have a van to get to work. Because, you know, yeah you need a refrigerator, too, but what’s more important a van or a refrigerator at the time? A van to get back and forth to work. School’s coming up. School clothes. School shoes," said Tammy.
"School time," said April. "Even just buying supplies-"
"Right," agreed Tammy. "And I have three of them in school now. It was really hard."
But Arizona’s Family Surprise Squad had one more surprise for Tammy’s family.
"We knew it would be really hard to have a refrigerator without any food in it," said Warnecke.
"Oh, my god!" exclaimed Tammy.
"This right here is $1,000 to Fry’s Food Stores from Arizona’s Family Surprise Squad and your Valley Toyota Dealers," said Warnecke.
"Thank you," said Tammy.
"And this is another $1,000 from Fry’s," said Warnecke.
"Oh, my god, thank you, guys," said Tammy.
"And you know at Fry’s they sell back to school supplies and clothing," said Warnecke.
"Everything," said Tammy. "Yes, thank you guys so much!"
"And you can pack that fridge full of food," smiled Warnecke.
"I love it. Thank you, guys so much," said Tammy. "You guys are the best. It is like a dream come true. Thank you!"
Thank you to Fry’s Food Stores for partnering with this surprise. Arizona’s Family Surprise Squad is sponsored by your Valley Toyota Dealers.
Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.