Nov. 7, 2013
/PRNewswire/ -- Sometimes just a simple wish can make a big difference in a child's life. The
One Simple Wish
, which collects wish requests from foster kids and at-risk children, has been named a winner in the third year of Toyota's 100 Cars for Good philanthropic program.
Wishes granted by the organization include help purchasing a school yearbook, tickets to the aquarium or a new bicycle. Individuals can fulfill a wish online, and the organization hosts "wish parties" around the country to deliver donated items to groups of kids.
"Sometimes there would be a large donation like 50 pairs of PJs, but we struggled to find the capacity to pick them up," said
One Simple Wish
founder and director, who is currently a
2013 Top 10 CNN Hero
. "We've had amazing success with the organization, but a car was the one thing we couldn't raise enough money for. Having this new vehicle will keep dollars going toward letting kids be kids."
One Simple Wish
selected a Toyota Highlander as its new vehicle, which will ease the burden on staff members who had been using their personal vehicles for pick-ups, partner visits and events, travelling more than 12,000 miles last year.
Another 2013 winner is the
Warrior Canine Connection
, which works with returning combat veterans to help train and socialize puppies, as part of a therapeutic program for PTSD and other psychological injuries. Disabled veterans benefit from the fully trained service dogs that will live alongside them. A new Sienna minivan will soon transport animals, staff and veterans throughout the D.C. area.
"One of the biggest things we find with recovering veterans is isolation and a hesitancy for some of them to leave the barracks at all," said
, director of dog programs at Warrior Canine Connection. "By bringing the dogs out into the community and helping veterans come to us, we have an incredible opportunity to reach more people and serve."
More 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations like Warrior Canine Connection and One Simple Wish hope to benefit from new Toyota vehicles as voting continues at
through Nov. 19. Each day, five finalists representing a variety of worthy causes are eligible for public votes.
The top two 100 Cars for Good winners every day have a choice 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. The remaining three organizations every day will receive
grants from Toyota to continue their good work in local communities. Represented causes span from a camp for kids with life-threatening illnesses to an organization helping the elderly safely remain in their homes.
"It's a wonderful feeling to begin hearing from our winners about plans to expand their impact and reach with a new vehicle," said
, vice president of diversity, philanthropy and community affairs for Toyota Motor Sales,
, Inc. "Voting is still open, so find a cause that speaks to you and your community and vote!"
Voting continues now through
Toyota, the world's top automaker and creator of the Prius, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our
Lexus and Scion
brands. Over the past 50 years, we've built more than 25 million cars and trucks in
, 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
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
To date, Toyota has contributed more than
to American nonprofit groups. For more information about Toyota's contributions in the U.S., visit
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
. 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.
Rebecca Lee GolinHarris