Spark of Love helps family whose car was set on fire with holiday gifts inside

Holiday wishes come true for a single mother and her ten children

Carlos Granda Image
Wednesday, December 15, 2021
Single mother, 10 children surprised with new van, holiday gifts
A local family was devastated when someone set their car on fire destroying all of their belongings and holiday gifts, but members of our Spark of Love family came to the rescue.

ONTARIO, Calif. (KABC) -- Alma Ceja walks outside and can't believe what she sees: a brand new van with a big red bow.

It took her a second to realize it was for her. She was in tears when she saw the surprise.

"God bless you guys. You don't know what this means. We've been struggling," Alma Ceja of Ontario said.

Her son, Ángel, said, "I'm speechless. My heart just feels like it's going to explode. I'm just happy, overall really happy."

You might remember Alma from last week when we told you her story: She's a single parent with 10 kids and is struggling during the holidays.

Thanks to our Spark of Love toy drive and Ontario firefighters, her children were going to get a special Christmas. But then tragedy hit. Her car was set on fire, her personal belongings, clothes and gifts destroyed.

"I was walking, taking my kids to school, walking back and forth, canceling appointments due to me not being able to arrive on time."

"Spark of Love reached out to us and told us a little bit about the story and the things that she's gone through. Being in the community for just over 40 years, we thought like a good time for us to give back," said Brandon Goodermont of Jeep Chrysler Dodge Ontario.

Ontario Firefighters and the Ontario Auto Center decided to make it an early Christmas and help the family by giving Alma a 12-seat van and some holiday gifts.

"She has 10 kids. We were trying to find a car that fits the whole family, so we actually ended up finding one," said John Fakhoury of Empire Nissan.

Victor Lopez of Ontario Fire continued, "The community that we work for - a lot of time all they need is that little something and I believe this is that little something. Being able to take her kids to school, to doctor's appointments, that's going make a big difference."

"This magical time of the year, I think it's a perfect time to show the love to the community and give back to the community," added Sam Labib of Ontario Hyundai.

Alma was extremely grateful. "I'm happy. I want to cry. I want to scream! It's a joy."

Officials are still investigating the fire that destroyed her car, but now her family will be able to celebrate the holidays.