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Chicago Automobile Trade Association Matches Continental Toyota's Donation to Plant with Purpose


Chicagoland's new-car dealer association, the Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA), recently matched Continental Toyota's $850 contribution to global charity Plant with Purpose, which empowers families living in extreme rural poverty in eight developing countries around the world. Over the past two years, the CATA and Continental Toyota collectively donated a total of $2,986 to the organization. 

"While Continental Motors Group supports many local charities, it's an incredible feeling to also be able to lend support to people across the globe with Plant with Purpose," said Continental Toyota Dealer Principal Cheryl Nelson. "Last spring, we actually turned the entire showroom over to support Plant with Purpose with a campaign that lasted from Earth Day, April 23, to May 5. For every vehicle purchase made in that time frame, whether it was a new or pre-owned, Continental Toyota donated $1 to Plant with Purpose. Additionally, any Customer Pay oil change was matched with a $1 donation. The customers loved it too and they felt as though they were helping to make an impact."

Plant with Purpose has a very specific, effective process for helping poverty-stricken rural families in eight countries in the developing world. Plant with Purpose Great Lakes Regional Representative Dave Mahar explained the three-step approach, "Plant with Purpose families are transformed through environmental restoration, economic empowerment and spiritual renewal."

"First and foremost, we help families restore the environment by enriching their land. We not only assist with the process, but we give farming families the tools they need to succeed - even after we've departed. Farming families utilizing our techniques increased their yields by 85 percent. Secondly, there's an economic focus where families join Village Savings Groups, helping save and invest their money, taking loans and growing financially alongside one another. Families also are able to utilize a social fund savings program, which help families prepare for hard times and even natural disasters. Should an unexpected weather event occur, such as a hurricane or earthquake, the families can pull resources from this emergency fund to assist with restoration of the land. Finally, we work with families to restore faith and enhance and strengthen relationships within the family."

"There's a huge difference in method in that we don't just put a Band-Aid on something; Plant with Purpose is grounded in strategy to build a sustainable system for success," Mahar continued. "We're so thankful for the support of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association and Continental Toyota to help us with our mission." 

Plant with Purpose estimates they've helped approximately 36,000 families in locations across the globe in Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico, Tanzania and Thailand. The organization is just getting started in Ethiopia this summer.

"The CATA applauds Continental Toyota for its support of Plant with Purpose, among other charities," said CATA Chairman Tony Guido. "This is a perfect example of the vital role that dealers play to help those in need - not only within local communities, but also people across the globe."

The CATA has been a longtime supporter of local nonprofit organizations. Since its inception in 2008, the Chicagoland Dealers Care program has donated more than $100,000 to local charitable organizations supported by new-car dealers. Additionally, since 1992, the association has raised $50 million for significant Chicago-area charities during the annual First Look for Charity black-tie event, held the evening before the Chicago Auto Show opens to the public.

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