Bangor-based nonprofit needs help to win car for use by foster families

Posted Aug. 08, 2012, at 11:14 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Providing services, many of them home-based, to children and adults in some of Maine’s poorest and most rural locations is a challenge unto itself.

But when vehicles are being repaired or are not available at all, the work becomes even more difficult.

That is why the Bangor-based nonprofit Community Care has entered Toyota’s 2012 Cars for Good program, spokeswoman Kate Davis said earlier this week.

During the program, which got under way in May, Toyota is giving away 100 vehicles to 100 nonprofit organizations over the course of 100 days.

Each day, five finalists are profiled at www.100carsforgood.com. Community Care is up for consideration on Thursday, she said.

Community care — which serves children, teens and adults throughout Maine — recently learned it has been named one of 500 finalists selected from more than 4,000 applications nationwide.

“We had a choice of several different models and we asked for a Toyota Prius for a couple of really good reasons,” Davis said, citing cost-effectiveness and fuel efficiency as among those reasons.

The nonprofit provides services predominantly in Penobscot, Piscataquis, Hancock and Aroostook counties and midcoast Maine but also as far away as Portland and Biddeford.

“Right now our staff use their own vehicles for transportation, so if one of their vehicles breaks down we have no means to get out staff to the [people to whom they are providing services],” Davis said. “That could mean, for example, that a family that was waiting for us to take them to a food pantry might have to wait even longer.”

Another reason the agency hopes to win a car is so the teenagers in foster care have a means for visiting siblings and other family members in other community and so they can use it while practicing for their driver’s license road tests.

“We really need this vehicle, so we need to get as many votes as we can, Davis said, noting that voting hours on Thursday run from 10 a.m. through midnight.

“We know that Maine people really care about the kids and families that need us,” Davis said.

The public is invited to vote for whichever nonprofit they think can do the most good with a new vehicle. The nonprofit with the most votes at the end of each day will win one of six Toyota models as well as a six-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

For information on the agency’s efforts to win a car and to access a link to the online voting page, visit its website at www.comcareme.org. For information on 100 Cars for Good and profiles of all 500 finalists, visit www.100carsforgood.com.

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