TORRANCE, Calif., Sept. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- When a homeless family receives low-income housing, they often need basic furniture and help carrying the few items they collected while in shelters. Last year, Family Promise of Grand Rapids helped move 30 families' belongings and donated home goods using a new Tundra the organization won in 2012 through Toyota's 100 Cars for Good philanthropic program. The Michigan-based organization helps homeless and at-risk families with children get back on their feet.
"Before winning the Tundra, if we got a call with a furniture donation that needed to be picked up within the week, we would not be able to accept it, even if it was something our families really needed," said Cheryl Schuch, executive director of Family Promise of Grand Rapids. "A couch, a kitchen table and other items help make a house a home for the kids and families in our program, and Toyota's 100 Cars for Good helped us better support these individuals in need."
Now 250 new nonprofit organizations have been named finalists in the third year of Toyota's 100 Cars for Good philanthropic program. Registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations from across the country submitted their stories and how new vehicles would support their work. A complete list of finalists is available at www.100carsforgood.com.
This year's finalists represent all 50 states and a range of nonprofit sectors from disaster relief to animal welfare to education. Running Oct. 1 – Nov. 19, five finalists per day will be eligible to win a new vehicle. Each day for 50 consecutive days, Toyota will announce the two winning organizations that received the highest number of votes from the public at www.100carsforgood.com.
Since 2011, 100 Cars for Good has given away 200 vehicles to organizations doing good work around the country. This year, winners will be able to choose from five vehicle models, including 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. Each day during voting, three runners-up organizations will each receive a $1,000 grant to support their work.
"The vehicles won through Toyota's 100 Cars for Good help move real people, supplies and animals in ways that make our communities stronger and brighter," said Michael Rouse, vice president of diversity, philanthropy and community affairs for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. "This year's finalists represent a wide range of geographies, missions and populations, and Toyota is pleased to involve the public in selecting which of these projects resonate and inspire the most to win a vehicle."
In Albuquerque, N.M., founder Elke Duerr of the Web of Life Foundation, a 2012 program winner, packs their Prius v with educational materials, film equipment, and even camping gear, to support the protection of local wildlife through its community outreach programs. She and volunteers have driven more than 12,000 miles since receiving the hybrid last October. The organization currently is creating films and teaching tools about the threatened American Bison, and Duerr travels between the animals' natural habitat and the many classrooms and festivals where she shares their stories.
"The Prius v had the advantages of size and gas mileage and was the single most important thing we needed for our work," Duerr said. "We now set a great example of an environmental organization that walks its talk and reduces its carbon footprint by driving a hybrid car while doing outreach work."
Over the last 20 years, Toyota has contributed nearly $700 million to nonprofits throughout the U.S., with core priorities on safety, education and the environment. For a full list of rules and 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.
GolinHarris for Toyota