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Tuesday, 18 September 2018 15:08

After the Donation: Kathleen St. John Gets a Car and a Job

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In 2012, Kathleen St. John received a completely refurbished 2003 Buick LeSabre as part of the Wheels to Prosper program. The program was established in 2011 by Dino Di Giulio, owner of Body Best Collision Center in Sonoma, CA. In 2012, Kathleen St. John received a completely refurbished 2003 Buick LeSabre as part of the Wheels to Prosper program. The program was established in 2011 by Dino Di Giulio, owner of Body Best Collision Center in Sonoma, CA.

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"When they handed me the keys to that vehicle, it was a complete surprise, and my first thought was, ‘How can I ever pay these people back for this incredible act of generosity?’" said St. John. "So I told Dino that if his secretary ever gets sick, I'll work for you for one week for free as my way of showing gratitude. I didn't know if he would ever call me back, but it made me feel good to offer it and I knew that this was the right thing to do."

 

One month later, Di Giulio called St. John and offered her a part-time permanent job, and she said yes without hesitation.

 

"I was praying for this and so happy when Dino called," she said. "I am an outside sales person and I love it. I go out into the community and basically meet people. We get fresh cookies from a nonprofit called the Teen Center in Sonoma. I give them to insurance agents and local companies, and they love them. The organization keeps teenagers off the streets and teaches them a trade, so Dino is helping them as well."

 

After receiving the car, St. John had to deal with colon cancer and then earlier this year, she lost her donated car when she was t-boned again on Lombard Street in San Francisco. But it didn't dissuade or deter her from her journey, she said.

 

"It's been six years now, and I love every aspect of the job," she said. "Everyone is so supportive and it helps me to reach out and touch so many wonderful people while representing a great company like Body Best. I've been blessed in so many ways in my 60-plus years on the planet, and this job is one of them."

 

Recently, Di Giulio found another vehicle for St. John, and after some mechanical work, she will be driving it as she continues meeting with people from Glen Ellen to Schellville on behalf of Body Best, she said.

 

"Wheels to Prosper has enabled me to give back to Dino while giving me a purpose and a mission, and that's why I love it," she said. "The goal of the program is to give people cars so that they can pay it forward, and in my case, it's done exactly that!"


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