Her mind was eased on Wednesday, June 14 when she received the first car donation from California Collision's new "Wheels of Prosper" program -- a 2007 PT Cruiser to replace her previous malfunctioning car. This is the inaugural donation from the Pleasanton auto body repair shop, but plans are to continue the program in years to come, according to owner George Osorio.
"The whole Tri-Valley has been very good to small business owners," he said, adding that it's important to "pay it back."
Osorio said he and his wife Christina were looking for families to adopt over Christmas and reached out to principals at nearby Livermore schools, figuring that would be the best way to find the names of families in need of support.
"I was surprised to find out how many people are in a financial bind," he said.
The principal at Arroyo Seco Elementary led them to Donna Kreutzberg, a recent widow taking care of two of her grandchildren, since their mother could not. The Osorios gave Kreutzberg and her grandchildren -- among other families they adopted -- gift cards and clothes and told her to let them know if she needed anything else.
"I thought I could make it," Kreutzberg said. But medical difficulties had raised an additional strain, both financially and in terms of transportation, as she had had to travel to and from Palo Alto for complications from a heart transplant.
When her Honda Accord started having problems, Kreutzberg asked Osorio to run a diagnostic on it, thinking that perhaps he could fix the car and she could pay him back in installments. But diagnostic results found that the vehicle repair costs exceeded the value of the car itself -- which led Osorio to nominate her for the Wheels of Prosper program.
The black PT Cruiser used to be a company car, and so California Collision removed the company logo and cleaned it before awarding it to Kreutzberg.