Last night, Toyota Motor North America celebrated the official opening of their North American headquarters in Plano. It was a fabulous evening with aerial dancers, food by Dean Fearing and a special guest appearance from the i-ROAD concept vehicle. Although, perhaps most exciting of all was the announcement of the winners of the $1 million Toyota Impact Grant.

Following a welcome cocktail in the vast lobby, guests were addressed by Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere, Texas Governor Greg Abbot, Toyota Motor North America CEO, Jim Lentz and Toyota Financial Services President and CEO, Mike Groff who announced the winner of the $1 million grant—the Collin County Mobility Collaborative.

The Collin County Mobility Collaborative is a newly formed group made up of Agape Resource and Assistance Center, Family Promise of Collin County, Hope’s Door New Beginning Center, and Shiloh Place of McKinney.

In Collin County, there are approximately 3,000 women, many with young children, who are homeless. This is in stark contrast to an area where many large companies are locating and thousands of new homes are being built. The grant is intended to implement a program aimed at creating self-sustaining independence for these homeless women and their children.

“We created this grant to encourage collaboration among nonprofits with a focus on pressing mobility issues in North Texas,” said Al Smith, group vice president, Social Innovation, Toyota Motor North America. “This holistic program aims to empower homeless women and their children to overcome crisis and poverty, helping them gain both physical and upward mobility.”

The multi-pronged program includes efforts to:

  • Provide safe and stable housing;
  • Assist with reliable and affordable transportation;
  • Facilitate childcare and youth development; and
  • Improve earning capacity through education, job training, certification and job placement.

The grant is a joint initiative between Toyota Motor North America and Toyota Financial Services, administered in partnership with United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, and provides funds over a two-year period.

“By combining resources and sharing expertise, we can achieve greater collective impact to improve the lives of these women, their children, and generations to come,” said Karen Ideno, vice president of product, marketing, corporate social responsibility and communications, Toyota Financial Services. “We look forward to working with the collaborative, applying assets beyond dollars, to make a difference right here in our new backyard.”

“Solving complex community challenges requires much more than investing in a single program,” said Susan Hoff, chief strategy, impact and operations officer, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. “Strong collaborations, such as the Collin County Mobility Collaborative, provide a multi-faceted approach to addressing pervasive and devastating issues through both direct services and systemic interventions. United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is proud to partner with Toyota to identify effective solutions that will make a lasting difference for families.”

Collin County Mobility Collaborative was selected from more than 40 applications, representing approximately 150 nonprofits, academic institutions and social entrepreneurs.

“Despite the rapid growth of Collin County, there are many women and children in need,” said Janet Collinsworth, founder & executive director, Agape Resource and Assistance Center. “Our approach taps into the strengths of each of our organizations, providing a holistic approach that addresses housing, transportation, childcare, education and support services. Through this effort our hope is not only to empower these women, but also to create a model of collaboration with a program that can be replicated.”

Below you can watch the full address made at the official opening of Toyota’s new North American headquarters in Plano. This address includes the announcement of the Toyota Impact Grant.

Following the address, guests were treated to a tour of the Toyota’s new North American headquarters in Plano. Below is a video of this tour. Look out for the two-story climbing wall!

Rebecca Silvestri

Rebecca Silvestri is the vice president of Sales & Marketing. She is also the wife of Philip Silvestri, publisher of Local Profile. In a previous life, Rebecca was a math teacher in London and the...