TORRANCE, Calif., Nov. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- On a night dedicated to recognizing the hard work of its supporters and volunteers, Trenton, N.J.,-based nonprofit One Simple Wish got a little recognition of its own. Toyota delivered a Highlander to founder and CNN's top 10 "Hero of the Year" Danielle Gletow with help from legendary hip-hop artist Darryl "D.M.C." McDaniels of Run-D.M.C. who is a personal supporter of the organization. The event also celebrated the first delivery of the 100 vehicles awarded to nonprofits in Toyota's 2013 100 Cars for Good philanthropy program.
Guests helped fill the Highlander's cargo space with gifts, school supplies and personal care items for foster children who benefit from One Simple Wish's work. McDaniels performed classics and a soon-to-be released song from a new album, in addition to giving some insight on a comic book collaboration addressing relevant social messages, including homelessness and adoption. The inspirational celebration kicked off an exciting time for the 100 Cars for Good program, as 99 additional nonprofits will receive their new vehicles over the coming months.
"As another successful 100 Cars for Good comes to a close, it's just the beginning for the charities who have new vehicles to broaden and support their good work," said Michael Rouse, vice president of diversity, philanthropy and community affairs for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. "We are proud to give back to so many inspiring groups and strengthen our commitment to supporting communities around the country."
Every day between Oct. 1 and Nov. 19, online voters selected two 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations to win new Toyota vehicles to support their work. This year's winners included a range of worthy causes from a group that provides water sports for disabled children in Alabama to an animal rescue group in rural Wyoming. To see the full list of winners, visit www.100carsforgood.com.
Another winning charity is Boston-based food rescue Lovin' Spoonfuls, which gives healthy, perishable food a second chance to feed the hungry. The nonprofit saves food that would otherwise be discarded from grocery stores, farmers markets and restaurants then delivers it to 27 food banks, shelters and organizations with immediate needs. Thanks to online voters, a new Tundra won through 100 Cars for Good will help Lovin' Spoonfuls rescue about 5,000 additional pounds of food a week.
"We believe everyone should have access to fresh produce, dairy and proteins regardless of their situations," said Lauren Palumbo, Lovin' Spoonfuls operations director. "As we are a direct distribution system, with no storage facility, a vehicle is the only way we can expand our work. We are grateful to Toyota to be part of such an inclusive, generous program."
Moved by the nonprofits' work and enthusiasm, thousands of people across the country went online every day throughout the program to cast votes for the nonprofits they felt were most deserving of a new vehicle. Winning nonprofits chose among the Toyota Highlander, Prius, Sienna, Sienna Mobility or Tundra, which will also come with a six-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty from Toyota Financial Services. Since 100 Cars for Good began in 2010, Toyota has provided 300 vehicles through this signature philanthropic program.
Voters selected Operation Gratitude in Van Nuys, Calif., as one of the 2013 winners. The organization will receive a Tundra to facilitate its work delivering care packages to deployed military members, their families, veterans and first responders. The group sends more than 100,000 packages annually and would like to reach an estimated 7,000 homeless veterans in the Los Angeles area.
"Normally we pay shipping companies to pick up and deliver the boxes, but the new vehicle will enable us to transport the packages directly to veterans and other local recipients, creating a personal connection and saving funds," said Carolyn Blashek, founder of Operation Gratitude. "We appreciate all our supporters who voted for us and made this exciting expansion possible."
To learn more about 100 Cars for Good, visit www.100carsforgood.com.
Toyota, the world's top automaker and creator of the Prius, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands. Over the past 50 years, we've built more than 25 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants and directly employ nearly 40,000 people. Our 1,800 North American dealerships sold more than 2.3 million cars and trucks in 2012 – and about 80% of all Toyotas sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today. (NYSE: TM) For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.
Toyota partners with a wide variety of organizations across the country, with a focus on education, safety and the environment. As part of this commitment, we share the company's extensive know-how from building great cars and trucks to help community organizations and other nonprofits expand their ability to do good. (NYSE: TM) For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.
To date, Toyota has contributed more than $700 million to American nonprofit groups. For more information about Toyota's contributions in the U.S., visit www.toyotainaction.com.
About Toyota Financial Services (TFS)
Toyota Financial Services (TFS) is the finance and insurance brand for Toyota and Lexus in the U.S., offering retail auto financing and leasing through Toyota Motor Credit Corporation (TMCC) and Toyota Lease Trust and extended service contracts and other payment protection products through Toyota Motor Insurance Services (TMIS). TFS employs 3,300 associates nationwide, and has managed assets totaling more than $91 billion. It is part of a worldwide network of comprehensive financial services offered by Toyota Financial Services Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation.
Media Contact: Rebecca Lee GolinHarris for Toyota 213-438-8827 firstname.lastname@example.org