JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A local military family of five won a car after struggling without one for almost an entire year.
It's a recycled ride, but a new one to the Allende family.
It's a car that has changed their life.
"I'm grateful to everybody that helped me get this car for my kids. I don't have to walk in the rain anymore every day taking my son to and from school," said car winner Michele Allende.
The family was selected to win the wheels through a partnership between the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Progressive Insurance and the National Auto Body Council. The donated Volkswagen was fixed up and awarded to one military family facing financial hardships in Jacksonville.
"Anytime that one of our soldiers, sailors or marines are jerked up and pulled away from a young family like this, it's an instant hardship," said Gene Hall, Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Angel Allende has been in the Navy for five years and is stationed at Naval Station Mayport. He is currently deployed overseas and his wife and three children ages 4, 5 and 7 were walking everywhere after their two cars broke down.
"I have an asthma attack probably once a month with each child and that's hard, calling people attwo in the morning, threein the morning, 'can you please wake up and take me to the hospital?' said Allende.
Through the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, the Allende's were referred to Veterans of Foreign Wars for the contest.
The car was an instant hit with the children.
"It's my favorite color that I like and it's red and shiny and beautiful," said five-year-old Annalise Allende about her mom's new car.
And even though their father is still overseas, the kids say they already know where they want to go first as a family.
"Chuck E. Cheese," said four-year-old Evalise Allende.