UKRAINIAN VILLAGE — When Lisa Pugliese won free use of a brand new 2013 Chevy Traverse for a week over the holidays, she decided to put the wheels to good use.
Pugliese, 39, a marketing and communications consultant who lives in Ukrainian Village, used the SUV to deliver pizzas to women with disabilities at Marah's Permanent Housing Program, 1456 W. Oakdale Ave. The center is one of five housing programs run by Deborah's Place, a social service organization that seeks to break "the cycle of homelessness for women in Chicago."
To be sure, it was actually Ramon De Leon, owner of six Domino's Pizza outposts, who suggested to Pugliese via Twitter that she use the car — which she won via Chevy's "Baby, Wanna Drive My Car?" contest — to "spread some holiday cheer."
Pugliese, who doesn't have a car and usually takes public transit, brought the 30 women at the center on Tuesday 10 pizzas, chicken wings and crunch cakes donated from De Leon's Domino's in Logan Square.
Walsh thanked both De Leon and Pugliese in a phone interview.
"Every one of us was homeless before we came" to Deborah's Place, she said. "When we get pizza from Ramon or another business, it is a feast. To donate that much food for 30 people, it's wonderful. It's a treat and we're very thankful."
A frequent tweeter who has won other promotions via Twitter, Pugliese (@Lisa_Pugliese) said the experience shows the social media site can be used for more than just communicating.
“You can utilize Twitter for more than to just post information," said Pugliese, who also used the car and a free tank of gas to shuttle friends around town and visit family in the suburbs. "You can connect online and in real life. It’s amazing how it brings people together and makes things happen. It’s a 'domino effect,' no pun intended."