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Sacramento father of 6 surprised with free car after biking miles to work for months

Single father using bike to get to work gets gift of a lifetime
Single father using bike to get to work gets gift of a lifetime 02:19

SACRAMENTO -- A single father of six children, ages 3 to 19, got the gift of a lifetime Thursday. 

For six months, he has braced the Sacramento heat to get to work. His family's only car was totaled in an accident and Isaac Taylor knew he had to keep food on the table. 

For months, he biked 16 miles roundtrip to get to work every day. Then when he got home, he would walk his young children to school. 

"It was early in the morning after working a full graveyard shift, 10-hour shift. It was very tough," said Taylor. 

He kept a positive attitude the whole time, though. He even thought of it as "not so bad" and kept his nose to the grindstone. 

"I've been through a lot, so struggle is just part of getting to the next big thing," said Taylor. 

The next big thing came with a big green bow Thursday morning. 

He was gifted a car, a newly restored 2019 Hyundai Elantra, paid in full. 

"I cried like a baby," said Taylor. "Tears of joy. Tears of feeling the pain of riding the bike back and forth. It all set in — what I went through to get to where I'm at now."

It's thanks to Caliber Collision Roseville, Travelers Insurance and Family Promise of Sacramento in collaboration with the NABC Recycled Rides Program. 

The vehicle was donated by Travelers and refurbished by technicians at Caliber Collision Roseville who volunteered their time and skills to restore it.   

"How could I feel like I deserve it? Knowing there are people that go through worse situations than I am in. How did I become so fortunate?" asked Taylor. 

It's a positive perspective from someone who is no stranger to hardship.

Taylor was in and out of homelessness for years, at one time living in motels and churches with the youngest of his children. Family Promise helped him get back on his feet and secure housing for his family, where he remains to this day.  

He has been doing well for years and even recently got promoted to supervisor at his security job. 

When Family Promise heard Taylor was biking to get to work, the nonprofit's leaders wrote a letter on his behalf so he could be nominated for the vehicle donation. 

"I have peace. I have a peace of mind," he said. "It's a great world we live in. Even though there are a lot of bad things that go on. There are some wonderful people."

It's a story of success and driving hope.

"And I got music! I got tunes!" said Taylor, grinning ear to ear in his car Thursday night, headed out for work for the first time in six months on four wheels, not two. 

He says he is wishing now for the day he can pay it forward to someone else.

"It's amazing, I'm living the dream right now. This is my best life right now," said Taylor. 

Caliber Collision, Caliber Auto Care and Caliber Auto Glass have donated more than 500 vehicles to people in need and their families.  

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