Back in February, we at Handy Toyota of St. Albans, VT published a blog about Toyota's dedication to automotive safety amongst today's youth and how they were teaching young people how to be better drivers, ultimately awarding those deemed the best young drivers with prizes ranging from donations to new cars and more. This past month, Toyota once again made a contribution to the same sort of young driver education program, once again showing their dedication to safety, something the Toyota brand has been known for over the years, not to mention the more recent introduction of the STAR Safety System. But it seems today's young drivers are not the only group of people that Toyota is focusing on, and this time the group in question is the largest political group in the United States: the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), a group anyone can join after their 50th birthday.
Each year the AARP has a get together for its members called the Life@50+ National Event & Expo, which as it sounds is a way for this immensely large group to come together, share ideas, and learn about the many wonders of, as the name implies, life at fifty years old and beyond. For 2011's expo, Toyota took center stage with the announcement that the world's largest automaker has signed a three-year deal in the form of a $12.6 million grant to the AARP to assist in the reduction of "senior" driving isolation (which I quote because, in my opinion 50 years old does not make you a senior) as well as the promotion of safe driving among older Americans.
Toyota states that the three-year funding of the AARP in the automotive realm will be beneficial to helping and creating ways around the rampant vulnerability of older folks, low income older people, and help to secure essentials outside of safe driving such as food, housing, income, personal connections, and even mobility to those who cannot drive themselves.
Thankful for the much needed assistance, AARP Foundation president Jo Ann Jenkins told the Toyota Pressroom reporters:
"Far too often half the people who don't drive or no longer drive are stuck at home. This grant from Toyota will help us keep the boomer generation that grew up in carpools alert to the challenges of driving safely in an era of high-tech cars and crowded roads." -Jo Ann Jenkins, AARP Foundation president (source: Toyota USA Newsroom, "AARP Foundation Announces $12.6 Million Grant from Toyota. pressroom.toyota.com, September 22, 2011).
From the Handy Toyota perspective, this is just another reason to be proud to wear the Toyota emblem across our storefront and chests. It's great to see Toyota take funding from their own pockets and put said dollars to good use - especially within such a large and needy group such as the AARP. Remember, the AARP is filled to the brim with Baby Boomers, the largest generation the world has ever seen. And with only so many social security dollars to go around coupled with only so many non-social security-collecting workers to add to the pot... well, you see the issue of course. My point is, it's great to see Toyota tackle the various issues involved with
elderly older folks.