Harvest Years Senior Center became the owner of a brand new Toyota Sienna on Thursday, courtesy of Hertrich Toyota in Milford and the Toyota 100 Cars for Good Contest
Harvest Years Senior Center became the owner of a brand new Toyota Sienna on Thursday, courtesy of Hertrich Toyota in Milford and the Toyota 100 Cars for Good Contest.
Harvest Years was selected as a finalist in the contest back in October. Toyota later selected a group of 250 non-profits from a pool of applicants and allowed the public to vote to decide which 100 organizations would win a new van. Toyota gave away 100 cars over a 50-day period, and Harvest Years ended up going head to head with five other organizations on Nov. 1. The organization was named one of two winners for that day. When it was all said and done, Harvest Years won roughly 35 percent of the vote, according to Thomas Bones, executive director of the senior facility.
“I’m really excited,” Bones said. “It’s one step forward for what our mission is, which is seniors helping seniors. It’s going to come in so handy with bringing seniors into the center and will be a safer environment than our old van.”
Harvest Years was awarded a Sienna mini-van to replace the Windstar van the facility currently uses for its senior shopping program and to transport seniors to and from the facility, which currently boasts more than 100,000 miles.
The senior shopping program ensures that seniors who are unable to drive still have access to the grocery store, bank and pharmacy by either providing a ride there and back or by having a Harvest Years employee use the center’s van to pick up items and run errands for seniors. Harvest Years serves more than 600 seniors across Kent County. The van will also be utilized for other programs, said Richard Maly, president of the board of directors for Harvest Years.
“One of our programs is the lunch program,” Maly said. “The van would be used if there is a member or a few members that are unable to drive who want to come to lunch at Harvest Years.”
The new van that Harvest Years received will hold seven passengers, has enough room in the trunk to carry a wheelchair or walker and is equipped with a mobility seat, which swivels sideways and can lower a passenger to the ground and allow easy access for passengers, said Maly. Harvest Years selected Hertirich as the dealership to deliver the van.
“It feels great to be chosen,” said Allen Stevens, general manager of Hertrich Toyota. “We’re just excited to be a part of the community.”
Christopher Kosnik, a district manager with Toyota, presented board members and Bones with the new Sienna at Hertrich on Thursday.
“This is a way for Toyota to show their appreciation and to give back to local communities,” Kosnik said. “This is a program that has been going on for three years, and from the East Coast to the West Coast it’s been a very successful venture for us.”
Harvest Years will be retiring its old Windstar van and is looking forward to the asset the new van will provide, Maly said.
“I think we will be looking at how this can help us improve our services and increase our services to our members,” Maly said.