On Tuesday this week, Toyota and Darryl McDaniels (aka the “DMC” in Run-DMC) delivered the first of 100 vehicles the company is giving to charities around the nation as part of its third annual 100 Cars for Good program. The first vehicle, a Toyota Highlander crossover, was delivered to Trenton, New Jersey-based One Simple Wish, a non-profit which grants wishes for children in foster car and at-risk situations, a charity which McDaniels works with personally.

2013_Toyota_100Cars_OneSimpleWish_DeliveryThe charity is one of one hundred across the country which Toyota fans and 100 Cars for Good supporters voted to receive vehicles this year – the third year Toyota has held this philanthropic event which combines charity giving with community votes for who deserves it most.

The presentation of the Highlander was done on Tuesday at One Simple Wish headquarters in NJ, appropriately being MC’d and featuring a performance by McDaniels as founder and CNN Top 10 Heroes of the Year winner Danielle Gletow watched volunteers and supporters fill the crossover with gifts for children this holiday season.

Boston-based food rescue Lovin’ Spoonfuls was another winner in this year’s 100 Cars for Good, choosing to receive a Toyota Tundra so they could make their own deliveries of food rather than rely solely on volunteers’ vehicles. An important part of the charity’s program is “rescuing” unused food from restaurants and farmer’s markets around the city and then utilizing them in their own food kitchens for the hungry. The truck will help them move about 5,000 pounds of food per week over what they already do through volunteer labor.

“We believe everyone should have access to fresh produce, dairy and proteins regardless of their situations,” said Lauren Palumbo, Lovin’ Spoonfuls operations director. “As we are a direct distribution system, with no storage facility, a vehicle is the only way we can expand our work. We are grateful to Toyota to be part of such an inclusive, generous program.”

Another charity receiving a Tundra this year is Operation Gratitude in Van Nuys, California, a non-profit which creates care packages for active duty military personnel deployed overseas and their families as well as for veterans and first responders working holiday shifts and during disaster relief operations in the Los Angeles area.

“Normally we pay shipping companies to pick up and deliver the boxes, but the new vehicle will enable us to transport the packages directly to veterans and other local recipients, creating a personal connection and saving funds,” said Carolyn Blashek, founder of Operation Gratitude. “We appreciate all our supporters who voted for us and made this exciting expansion possible.”

These are just a handful of charities who have a lot to be thankful for today and who give many thousands of Americans things to be thankful for this holiday season. Visit 100carsforgood.com for more.

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An automotive enthusiast for most of his adult life, Aaron has worked in and around the industry in many ways. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP), the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), and freelances as a writer and journalist around the Web and in print. You can find his portfolio at AaronOnAutos.com.

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