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Twenty five of the country's charities have won the free use of gleaming new Corollas in Toyota's '25 Ways to Say Thanks' initiative.
The winners were announced today after a total of 515 charities registered to be in the running for one of 25 cars to use for three years, with nearly 40,000 people voting for their favourite charity through Facebook over the past four weeks.
The five charities with the most votes were Orphans Aid International Trust, Basketball New Zealand Incorporated, Sands Manukau, Girl Guides and Huha Charitable Trust, all of whom received more than 850 votes apiece.
Sue van Schreven, CEO and Founder of Orphans Aid International Charitable Trust, which received the largest number of votes at 1174, says the use of a car for three years will be enormously beneficial in the charity's work which includes helping needy children around New Zealand and rescuing abandoned children in places such as India, Romania and Russia.
"Getting a car is fantastic, because it means we can get around and promote our cause better and raise more funds. Up until now volunteers have had to use their own vehicles because we have no budget for transport," she says.
"This is an awesome thing for Toyota to do and we are really grateful to them because we would not have a car otherwise. Thanks also to our supporter base who have worked hard to generate votes for us over the past four weeks."
Toyota General Manager of Marketing Neeraj Lala says working on '25 Ways to Say Thanks' has been a highlight for the Toyota team. "It has been really gratifying to see the fantastic work being done by charities around New Zealand and the backing they receive from Kiwis."
He says '25 Ways to Say Thanks' was a great way for Toyota to celebrate 25 years of market leadership. "We wanted to recognise and show our appreciation to customers who have supported us for over 25 years. This initiative allowed them to decide which charities would receive 25 Corollas for three years, and we have been overwhelmed with the response.
"We also wanted to increase the awareness of the amazing contribution of all the charities throughout New Zealand who work hard to make this country a great place to live."
The full list of 25 winning charities is as follows: