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Ed Attanasio

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco. Ed enjoys sports of all kinds and is a part time stand-up comedian.

 

He can be reached at era39@aol.com.

Monday, 06 June 2022 10:48

After the Donation: Veteran’s Donated Car Enables Her to ‘Pay It Forward’

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Six years ago, TeJae Dunnivant, a veteran of the U.S. Army Reserve, and her son received a 2014 VW Jetta from Mike's Auto Body in northern California's East Bay, and the vehicle is still their daily driver. Six years ago, TeJae Dunnivant, a veteran of the U.S. Army Reserve, and her son received a 2014 VW Jetta from Mike's Auto Body in northern California's East Bay, and the vehicle is still their daily driver.

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When deserving people get fully refurbished vehicles from auto body shops, whether MSOs or independents, it is always a major win-win for the industry and the community.

In this series, we follow up to find out how these vehicles have helped these deserving people as they pursue their dreams and achieve their goals after they've received their cars.

 

In this case, TeJae Dunnivant, a U.S. Army Reserve veteran, and her son were awarded a 2014 Volkswagen Jetta from Mike's Auto Body in northern California's East Bay in 2016. The car was donated by CSAA Insurance and the giveaway was sponsored by the Blue Star Moms while Dunnivant was working as a veteran advisor at the University of California, Berkeley and pursuing her degree.

 

At the time, Dunnivant needed the Jetta to get to and from school and other chores, but when life threw her a curveball, her vehicle from Mike's Auto Body became even more vital to the survival of her and her young son.

 

Three months after receiving the vehicle, Dunnivant found out her son Asad, then 12, had leukemia.

 

"In February of 2017, we got some tough news and of course that was a major deal," she said. "When I initially wrote my letter for the vehicle, I stated that I needed the car to go to the grocery store and food banks, which is hard to do on foot. After a while, we began using it to go back and forth from Albany to Oakland Children's Hospital, so the Jetta became a lot more important lifeline for us and a more major part of our lives."

 

Now, let’s fast forward to 2022 and check in with Dunnivant and her son.

 

First off, Dunnivant got a bachelor's degree in media studies from the University of California, Berkeley. She also worked for one year at Contra Costa College in San Leandro, CA, in its Veterans Center.

 

Then, she moved down to San Diego, CA, to work for Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit whose mission is to build strong, stable and secure military families so they can thrive in their respective communities. In 2022, Dunnivant is using her donated vehicle to...


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