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Detroit nonprofit, 4 others compete to win a free Toyota

Detroit’s Focus:HOPE will be among five U.S. nonprofits competing to win a 2011 Toyota on Thursday as part of Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good program. The point of the major philanthropic outreach from Toyota is to give away 100 cars to 100 American not-for-profit organizations over 100 days, with winners chosen on Facebook.

Each daily winner through Aug. 16 is awarded a new Toyota vehicle to help the organizations continue to do “good” in their communities. The remaining finalists will each receive $1,000 grants from the Japanese carmaker. Toyota Financial Services adds a six-year, 100,000 mile Toyota Vehicle Service Agreement to give winners extended protection beyond the vehicle warranty.

"The selected winners not only provide significant services, but also inspire by showing what is possible when we put others’ needs before our own," said Jim Lentz, president of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc.

Public voting for the 100 Cars for Good program opened May 9. Winners so far have included groups specializing in animal welfare, health and safety, human services and support for veterans. All are worthy causes shared with the public on their Facebook profiles.

Every day, five nonprofits are profiled on the 100 Cars for Good Facebook page, They each tell Facebook readers how a new vehicle would assist their local communities and then those readers vote.

The finalists for Thursday are:

1. Focus:HOPE, Detroit. HOPE has requested a Highlander SUV to deliver food to homebound seniors and take students to educational and professional events in southeast Michigan.

2. Granite State Independent Living, Concord, NH. Granite has requested a Highlander SUV to help take people with disabilities to and from their jobs.

3. Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation, Louisville. The foundation has requested a Sienna Mobility minivan to take patients to medical appointments and community activities and to help get youths in outpatient programs to treatment services.

4. Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County, Watsonville, Calif. Harvest has requested a Tundra pickup truck to help deliver food and supplies to up to 10,000 people per month.

5. SWIRCA & More, Evansville, Ind. SWIRCA has requested a Highlander to help deliver meals-on-wheels to the disabled and elderly in six Indiana counties.

Toyota has made $500 million in philanthropic investments across America since 1990. Winning organizations can choose to receive a Prius, Tacoma, Tundra, Highlander Hybrid (pictured), Sienna or Sienna Mobility.

You can email's Hawke Fracassa at [email protected]. He also can be reached at (248) 747-1550.

Image source: Toyota