New Car Donated to Navy Veteran Through Recycled Rides Program

SACRAMENTO -- A Navy veteran and her six-year-old daughter, truly receiving a life-changing gift thanks the the "Recycled Rides' program.

Miranda Thomas and her daughter Sophie were given keys to a 2012 Chevy Impala on Wednesday.

"This is probably the nicest thing I'll ever own," said Thomas just moments after getting the keys. "It looks like something that will definitely last a while, and that's a plus. It's a miracle!"

It's no small miracle how Miranda and Sophie ended up in Sacramento in the first place. The pair fled Iowa last July to escape a domestic violence situation. They drove here in a mini van, and eventually ended up at the Veteran's Resource Center.

"For her to take that leap, and to pull her and Sophie out of that and to completely relocate, just shows how brave she was," said Tristina Steward who is the Housing Coordinator at the center.

But there story continued to grow. Sophie, who is a special-needs child and is wheelchair-bound, needed quite a bit of medical attention. But when their van was lost in an accident back in September, Miranda then had to rely on public transportation to get her daughter to where she needed to be.

"It's wonderful to be in a town that has a bus system," said Thomas. "But at the same time, it takes so much time to get from bus-to-bus."
The car is a complete game-changer for the two. For starters, they live in Rancho Cordova, but Sophie's school is in Elk Grove.

Many throughout the community came together to help get the car for Miranda and Sophie. Esurance donated the car, which was repaired by technicians at Caliber Collision. And a trunk full of toys and gift cards was also supplied for their big day.

"I am so thankful to have been chosen. I am so thankful, plain and simple."

Miranda and Sophie plan to take plenty of trips in their new car. But on trip they are definitely looking forward to is this summer when Miranda plans to take her daughter to Disneyland for the first time.