TORRANCE, Calif., Oct. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Before Toyota's 100 Cars for Good program, staff members at the Chino, Calif. nonprofit Together We Rise overheated their van multiple times when trying to deliver bicycles to foster kids. Thanks to a new Tundra pick-up truck, received through the 100 Cars for Good program, the organization can now deliver as many as 400 bikes per trip, towing them behind the truck in a 26-foot trailer.
"Previously when we traveled the country, we had to turn the heaters on full-blast to prevent our old truck from breaking down," said Danny Mendoza, the group's founder. "With the new Tundra it just makes life so much easier. Delivering these bikes is so important to help create a sense of normalcy and belonging for foster kids – something that often is missing in their lives."
Starting today, 250 new 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations are eligible to benefit from Toyota's signature philanthropic program, continuing the good work that has already been done by past winners. By casting votes at www.100carsforgood.com, people have the power to make a difference in the work of deserving nonprofits.
Each day for 50 consecutive days through Nov. 19, five finalists are eligible and two organizations will receive a new Toyota vehicle, based on the highest number of public votes. Finalists come from all 50 states and support diverse causes including disaster relief, veteran and disabled services, educational programs and environmental issues.Winners will be able to choose 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. Runners-up organizations will each receive a $1,000 grant from Toyota to support their work. Since launching the program two years ago, Toyota has awarded 200 vehicles to nonprofit organizations across the country, based on public voting via Toyota's Facebook page. A Sienna won by Young at Heart Pet Rescue in Palatine, Ill. has helped streamline the organization's activities and significantly improve its impact in the community. The volunteer-based group rescues and facilitates the adoption of older dogs and cats. "In the past, we lost hours or sometimes even days, waiting for a volunteer's vehicle that was big enough for the task at hand," Executive Director Dawn Kemper said. "Now, we can just load our Sienna up with as many dog and cat crates as we need, jump in and be on our way to adoption events that save the lives of many animals. If someone calls with a large donation for our pet food pantry program, we can pick it all up and deliver it in one trip!" Stories about animal rescues, disaster relief, environmental conservation, education and human services all reflect to the meaningful work supported through 100 Cars for Good and the unique causes of the many organizations.