The Toyota Lexus Minority-Owned Dealer Association partners with the Salvation Army to help those in their communities hit hard by COVID-19

You don’t have to be a math whiz to figure out that the impact of 24 dealerships doing good is greater than just one. That matters, especially when the beneficiaries are people struggling to put food on their table in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This calculation was at the heart of the Toyota Lexus Minority-Owned Dealer Association’s (TLMODA) decision to partner with the Salvation Army to organize a National COVID-19 Day of Service in May 2020.

The Salvation Army managed the logistics of gathering non-perishable food items, such as cereal and canned goods, and packing them in boxes each intended to help feed families of four. Then 24 TLMODA dealerships across 17 states stepped in to help with the distribution within their local communities. Toyota Motor North America provided some financial assistance. All told, 4,800 boxes made it into the hands of people in need.

“The families we reached thanked us with tears in their eyes,” says Nidah Chatriwala, director of marketing at Lost Pines Toyota in West Bastrop, Texas — one of the 24. “We organized a drive-thru lane in front of our dealership, verified the registration of each of the families and loaded the boxes into the trunks of their cars. The response was overwhelming.”

The initial event proved so successful that the TLMODA and the Salvation Army decided to hold a second day of service in January, distributing an additional 1,400 food boxes. This time around, Lost Pines Toyota took it a step further and also put together gift bags filled with toys and other personal items, such as face masks.

As far as Chatriwala is concerned, this type of outreach is just the beginning.

“This is something we need to keep doing,” she says. “The need will continue to grow. We’re not going to stop here.”


To read the full August issue of Toyota Today, click here.

Originally published August 30, 2021

Email Sign Up

Enter your email address below to sign up for email alerts.

*Indicates Required