Single mom of two surprised with minivan

- When Brandi Breman walked through the front doors of "Rancourt Collision and Auto Repair" in Cypress, she had no idea that the owner, Mark Rancourt, was going to say this.

"This year you are the recipient of a new vehicle just for you.  Would you like to see your Christmas present?  'Yes sir.'"

The completely refurbished 2007 Honda Odyssey Minivan, driven by Santa Claus of course, pulled around so the single mother of two little babies could get a glimpse of their shiny, new ride packed with diapers, baby food, supplies, and clothes.

"I'm shocked right now.  I cannot believe this is happening," said Breman.  "I think it's amazing that so many people would've come together to give someone like me this awesome gift," she said.

The 26-year-old lifelong Cypress resident is recently single now trying to work, go to school, and raise her babies alone.  "It's really hard you know juggling everything," she said.

That's why her church, Cypress United Methodist, helped bring Brandi here.  Having a reliable ride -- because her car wasn't -- will make a life-changing difference.

"I can breathe. I've been worried for quite some time because my car is really old.  It'll just give me relief that I can make it to and from work and have my babies in a safe car," she said.

Luis Valdes knows just how safe it is.  He used to own it.

"A lot of memories, lot of good memories.  Our kids kind of grew up with this car they are happy to see it's going to have a second life with another family," said Valdes.

Valdes swapped the van for some free repairs at the shop and says he's happy to help a young family in need.

"I would hope and wish that every car place in the city would do something like this.  It's such a boost for the family and for us, this is what we want to be able to do around Christmas time," he said.

It's something the Rancourt's have done for the past 11 years around Christmas time.

"She should be able to get another 100,000 [miles] if she takes care of it and we're going to maintain it for her for the next year so if something is wrong with it she can just bring it in and we're not even going to charge her," said Rancourt.

He'll also pay her insurance for 6 months on top of $500 cash he gave her to get the car registered.

"Right now today's society is horrible you like to hear the good stuff instead of turning on the news and look at all the bad stuff.  We want to see the good stuff and you want to see people helping whether it's me or anybody else out there," said Rancourt.

"All these people came together and did this.  They didn't have to they spent their time, their heart and everything and it changed my life," said Breman.

Brandi hopes more change is in her future.  She just got certified to start teaching.  "I am certified to teach all elementary school, physical education, dance and bi-lingual."

Perhaps a new job, to go along with this new ride, is next.

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