Toronto, Ontario - August 26, 2021 – A pink car army is working hard to keep York Region’s seniors safe.
When Canada’s healthcare community encouraged Canadians to roll up their sleeves for COVID-19 vaccinations this summer, organizations like York Region’s ‘Pink Cars’ – along with corporate citizens like Toyota and hundreds of volunteers - came together behind the scenes to support the vaccine efforts in their communities.
When vaccination eligibility and administration plans began to roll out in February, Pink Cars founder, Shanta Sundarason and her colleagues decided to take action to help make sure York Region seniors could get theirs.
“We learned that York Region seniors are unfamiliar with online booking platforms and were not comfortable taking public transportation or ride-sharing services to their vaccine appointments,” said Sundarason. “Within days, our team created a telephone line to assist seniors with booking their appointments and also offered free shuttle services.”
And, when Stouffville Toyota heard about the Pink Cars initiative, they reached out to help offer more free rides to local residents. As part of Toyota Canada’s national Cars For Good program, Stouffville Toyota loaned a 2019 RAV4 Hybrid to help Pink Cars offer more seniors free shuttle service to and from their vaccination appointments.
“The people we’re helping feel comfortable and safe accepting rides from us knowing that the Toyota vehicle is new and reliable and being chauffeured by volunteer drivers who are double vaccinated,” said Sundarason. “The RAV4 Hybrid has allowed our volunteer drivers to reduce mileage on their personal vehicles as they help others in their community.”
Pink Cars initially expected to help about 30 seniors from the York Region community. To say they’ve exceeded that goal is an understatement. So far, the organization has provided free shuttle rides to vaccination appointments for almost 400 York Region residents.
“We’re grateful to have the Pink Cars team supporting York Region seniors with safe, reliable and free shuttle rides to and from vaccine appointments,” said Kevin Baxter, General Managerat Stouffville Toyota. “Hopefully, our vehicle has helped even more local seniors stay healthy and safe.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Toyota Canada has taken action to support communities across the country. In the past year alone, Toyota Canada and its dealers have contributed over $1 million to food banks and other food security initiatives through a program which matched local dealer donations dollar-for-dollar. Toyota Canada also expanded its existing partnership with Canadian Blood Services by donating more than $1 million worth of in-kind advertising time to communicate the ongoing need for donations of blood and blood products during the pandemic. Now, the Cars for Good program is further extending Toyota’s support at the local level with free short-term vehicle loans and related services.