Back in March, Toyota began its 'Hundred Cars for Good' campaign. Now, less than half of a year later, the company has started handing out the first of its free cars to non-profit organizations all over the country.
Over 3,000 groups applied for the philanthropic car donation program and a few months ago, Toyota sorted through the applicants to select 500 finalists.
The final 500 groups created online profiles and tried to rally social media support for their cause. The finalists were posted on the Toyota Facebook page in groups of five, and the public was allowed to vote for the organization it thought should get the new Toyota. Whichever group earned the most Facebook votes would be given a new car from Toyota later in the year.
Toyota did this 100 times and the final winner was selected on August 16.
Deliveries started Monday; the Community Soup Kitchen and Outreach Center in Morristown, N.J. chose a new Toyota Sienna. Toyota said the new van will allow the non-profit pick up more food donations and help feed more people than ever before.
The president of Toyota's North American division was on hand, along with a slew of news outlets to make the first delivery himself.
Other groups will be getting their cars soon as well. Today, the Laura Recovery Center for Missing Children will be taking delivery of a new Prius. The Friendswood, Texas based group promotes childhood abduction safety and helps out nationwide in the event of a missing child.
Sol Collective is a group that uses art, education and technology to help make its Sacramento, Calif. community a better place. The group won its Facebook challenge and will receive its Toyota Highlander Hybrid tomorrow. Toyota said the non-profit will be able to extend services further into its community and expand its reach thanks to the new hybrid SUV.