Fred Goodall grew up without a car, and knows how hard it can be to accomplish your goals without a vehicle. Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good helps small non-profits with big goals.
When I was a child, I did a lot of walking. It wasn’t because I enjoyed pounding the pavement. I walked because it was my main mode of transportation. For a good portion of my childhood, my family didn’t have a car. We relied on the kindness of others, public transportation, and, of course, walking.
In many cities, you can survive without car. In Houston, TX, where I grew up, it’s nearly impossible. The city is large and spread-out and few things are within walking distance.
I remember having to carry heavy garbage bags of dirty clothes to the laundromat which was at least a mile away. Once, on the way back home, my bag tore and the clean clothes fell into the street and were soiled again. That was a miserable feeling. What was more miserable was watching my mother nearly break into tears as she tried to salvage the clothes and load them back into the torn bag.
I knew that not having a car was tough on my mother. Trying to schedule doctors’ appointments or going to the mall took days of planning. I could hear the embarrassment in her voice every time she had to call friends and family members to ask for a ride.
Although our lives were more difficult without a car, we managed to get by. To buy groceries, we had to take two buses because there were no grocery stores in our neighborhood. Carrying a week’s worth of groceries on the bus was a challenge and I’m sure we annoyed a few passengers who tripped over our bags. It was nice when my mother had a little extra money and we could pay for a cab to drive us home.
When my mother finally saved up enough money to buy a car, we were thrilled. It was a used clunker, but it was like a brand new dream car in our eyes. The car gave us newfound freedom and independence.
I’m thankful that my three children have never known life without a car. However, there are many people who struggle to complete basic tasks because they don’t have a reliable mode of transportation.
Life without a vehicle can be tough, and it’s especially hard for non-profits that are trying to impact the community but have limited funds. I’m proud to know that brands such as Toyota are helping these organizations by providing vehicles to those who need them the most.
Through The ‘100 Cars for Good’ philanthropic program, Toyota will be giving away 100 Cars to selected non-profit organizations across the United States, each selected by the public. It’s a way of putting the public in the driver’s seat, so to speak, in deciding which non-profits to support. You can participate by heading over to their Facebook page and vote for the organizations you think most deserve to take win a Toyota.
Last year’s winner, Mission: St. Louis, has many programs to help the community, but their most prominent one is their Home Repair program which seeks to enable homeowners to remain in their homes, and to ensure safe and healthy living environments for community members.
“Since winning a vehicle through 100 Cars for Good, in 2012,” said Abby Shelton, “Mission: St. Louis’ Home Repair program completed 550 repairs for a value of $216,085–helping our residents to avoid costly citations, or eviction.”
Mission: St. Louis has also been able to provide low-income families with Christmas presents of bikes and toys. Shelton explains that one of her best memories is of picking up a large donation of kids’ bikes in time to deliver them for the holidays.
Neither the home repairs nor the bike deliveries would have been possible without their Toyota truck to transport tools, materials, and volunteers.
Many of us take our vehicles for granted because they’re so deeply ingrained into our culture. We often overlook how much we rely on our cars and how much they help us to accomplish our goals. But cars are more than simple machines that get us from point A to point B. They also have the power to improve lives.
Written in partnership with Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good
This post is sponsored by Toyota’s philanthropy program 100 Cars for Good. Starting October 1 and ending November 19, do your own good deed by voting for your favorite organizations and causes on the 100 Cars for Good Facebook App.
Photos courtesy of Mission: St. Louis