Toyota is giving away 100 cars to groups that will use the vehicles to make the world a nicer place.

As part of its Ideas for Good campaign, Toyota accepted 500 finalist applications from philanthropic and beneficial programs all over the US. The company is asking its Facebook fans to vote for the groups they feel deserve a new car.

Toyota will give away one vehicle every day until 100 cars have been awarded. Twenty-five winners have already been selected.

The winning organizations have included food banks, missions, animal shelters and more.

The first group to win was the Indiana chapter of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD is best known for opposing drunk driving but has expanded its focus to cover issues like distracted driving as well). The group will be using its brand new Toyota Tundra to haul exhibits and displays to students across Indiana in order to teach them about the dangers of poor decision making behind the wheel.

The group currently has another pickup, but it has racked up more than 100,000 miles over three years of service, and the group still owes money on it. During the recession, donation money started to dry up, and there were concerns about how it could continue to operate. "It just means a lot to us," said Jim Noffsinger, the state coordinator for Indiana SADD "It's saving our program is what it amounts to."

Among the recent winners is Laura Recovery Center for Missing Children. The group works with parents, police and communities to help try and find missing children.

Bob Walcutt, the executive director for the group said it has received the same hit from the recession as the Indiana SADD chapter. He said he is looking forward to getting a more fuel-efficient Toyota to help cut down on gas money.

"I don't know of any organization that doesn't put on a lot of miles over a year, and after fuel costs, you don't have much left over for lunch," Walcutt said.

To participate in the voting, visit the 100 Cars for Good page on the Toyota Facebook site. You can read a short description of each group up for consideration that day.

author photo

J. Mark Sternberg is an automotive journalist, car enthusiast and writer with a degree from the University of Arizona. Mark is a devoted Formula 1 fan and also enjoys boating, flying and attending the occasional track day.

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