(WTNH) — Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, we often heard the phrase “We are all in this together.” We have seen signs from time to time, including right now. It’s the Season of Giving, and today is Giving Tuesday. Guilford’s Melanie DiNicola must have had this in mind when she took her good fortune and paid it forward.
“It was the natural thing to do,” DiNicola told News 8.
As a parent of a child with Cystic Fibrosis (CF), DiNicola has helped raise thousands of dollars for CF. Because of this, and her overall dedication toward healthcare, DiNicola’s realtor and friend Nikki Travaglino enrolled her in the Homes for Heroes, a program that offers discounts to the many heroes that make up a community: teachers, healthcare providers, police, and firefighters, to name a few.
That’s when DiNicola got an unexpected check for $4,000. She had received more money from the sale of her house than she had anticipated.
“My daughter was diagnosed with CF 16 years ago,” she said. “And everyone’s been doing good for her. So, it was only right to give back.”
She is paying it back by paying it forward. Donating the money to five charities. Along with CF, The Edward Riccio Foundation, “Looking Forward”, Yale Cancer Center, Ethan Miller Song Foundation, and KARE (Kindness Always Rewards Everyone) which honors the memory of popular Guilford businessman Paul Dostie.
Dotsie died last May from Glioblastoma, a non-curable brain cancer. Dostie’s sister, Linda Dostie Kelly, says their mission is two-fold, including providing financial support to families fighting serious and life-threatening illnesses.
“Paul was also a huge mentor to young talent in the trades,” Linda described. “He’s a small business owner, transmission owner.”
Jerry’s Transmission has been around for more than 60 years. “We really wanted to honor young adults who want to get into the trades,” Linda added. “It’s a real gap that we feel and so whether it’s equipment to try and get them started in their careers. That was the other part.”
Paul Dostie’s family is a big part of the business, including his daughter Allison.
Paul’s daughter, Allison, said, “I would love to continue to be his cheerleader even after he’s passed and help with this foundation to continue the giving and the support for other people.”
One of Paul Dostie’s lines, Linda said, was “you’ve got this”. They do, partly because we are indeed all in this together.
For more information on KARE click here.