Toronto, August 6, 2020 – With an increasing number of people across the country relying on charitable services during the COVID-19 pandemic, many community organizations have found themselves in need of a reliable vehicle. Responding to that need, Toyota Canada and its dealers across the country developed Cars For Good, a program supporting local charities with free short-term vehicle loans or other delivery services.
And many dealers have already made an impact on their communities by loaning their vehicles to local charities.
Clarington Toyota in Bowmanville, Ontario, took advantage of this program by loaning an all-wheel drive Toyota RAV4 to the Bowmanville Older Adults Association which was forced to temporarily close during the pandemic. The non-profit organization shuttles seniors to and from appointments as well as providing various social services.
"The Bowmanville Older Adult Association is blessed to be a proud community partner of our hometown Toyota team here in Clarington,” said Angie Darlison, Executive Director of the BOAA. “With the closure of our facility and the cancellation of our Wheels in Action program, it was a true blessing to have Matt and his team step up to assist with a variety of transportation needs for our membership during these troubling times. Their efforts are so appreciated."
Clarington Toyota general manager Matt Gleed said the first call they made was to the BOAA and they were happy to be able to provide a safe, clean and reliable vehicle to help seniors in the community get around.
“The BOAA is an important staple in the community for our seniors, by creating social programs, as well as programs to assist seniors with shuttles to and from appointments, getting them to the centre and home,” Gleed said. “Being able to utilize a nationally branded program while impacting people’s lives in a positive way during these hard times made the decision a no brainer!”
In Burnaby, British Columbia, Destination Toyota loaned a Toyota Sienna minivan to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, an organization which the dealership had supported in April through Toyota Canada’s donation matching program.
“We had made a cash donation to the food bank earlier in the year, and this was a natural way for us to follow-up on that,” said James McInnes, the dealer’s General Manager. “The food bank needed to shuttle volunteers around the Greater Vancouver area and the Sienna allowed them to do that safely and efficiently. Plus, with generous cargo space, the Sienna also helped them distribute food throughout the city.”
“The volunteer powered shuttle service we have created with this beautiful van is hugely valued by our clients, and we are so proud to be able to offer it,” said Cynthia Boulter, Chief Operating Officer, Greater Vancouver Food Bank.
“We are a few blocks from the Production Way Skytrain at our Winston St. warehouse in Burnaby, with a slight hill on the way back up to the station. As we are working hard to increase both the number of items and the poundage of food that our clients take home each week, for many the option of a ride back up to the Skytrain is a true game changer, particularly for our seniors and clients with mobility issues, as well as those picking up for their families.”
For North Bay Toyota, Cars for Good was a perfect opportunity to partner with local radio station 106.3 Moose FM and equip them with a Toyota C-HR.
“They called it ‘The Kindness Cruiser’. It tours throughout the Nipissing area, doing good deeds, dispensing random acts of kindness, and helping those in need,” explained Andrew Auger, the dealer’s Marketing and Business Development Manager.
“We launched the program with a cheque presentation to North Bay’s newly built Hospice. This is a cause we have been supporting for the last couple of years, and it was a good opportunity to support a great cause. The cruiser has since delivered kindness to a variety of organizations.”
In Quebec City, Quebec, Ste-Foy Toyota loaned a Mirai hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle to Pharmacy Brunet to help deliver prescription medication to their clients.
“The Mirai represents nature, ecology, health, a clean environment – a breath of fresh air in a time of great need,” said Sylvie Alcaraz, General Manager of Ste-Foy Toyota. “We’re proud to be involved in the well-being of our community, to help and support people in need.”
The Cars for Good program started in June and ran through to the end of July, with Gaspé Toyota and Don Valley North Toyota also taking part. It’s just one of many initiatives Toyota and its dealers have undertaken during this year’s COVID-19 pandemic.