Competition for a Cause

COVID-19 didn’t stop Toyota and Lexus field offices from competing to help a local food bank

May 13, 2020
Team Leaders on Teams -- (From left) The LWA's Rebecca Hadnott and Emily Tan, and the LA Region's Dana Gregor and Soojie Kuroda pose on Microsoft Teams. 


Just because COVID-19 is keeping most Toyota team members tied to their home offices, that doesn’t mean their commitment to its communities has gone by the wayside.
It just requires a little more creativity.
While working from home, Lexus Western Area Assistant General Manager Rebecca Hadnott pondered ways to contribute without putting team members at risk.
“It was in the back of my mind, and I kept thinking it over,” Hadnott says. “I figured, maybe when we’re back in the office we can do something.”
Enter Jessica Tan, the area office’s district service and parts manager, who suggested a virtual food drive to help Second Harvest Food Bank in Orange County, California. Participants could select what type of food they’d like to donate, and virtually fill their bag. Together, they would virtually fill a food truck.
Always up for a little competition, Tan and Hadnott reached out to their colleagues on the Toyota side – Vehicle Marketing Analyst Soojie Kuroda and Marketing Representation Manager Dana Gregor of the Los Angeles Region to offer a friendly challenge.
Which field office could donate the most meals from home?
“We never shy away from a challenge, especially when it’s from our neighbors at Lexus Western,” Gregor says. “Usually it’s a kickball game or ugly sweater contest, but this meant much more. We saw it as a common goal for good, and we were on-board from the moment they asked.”
The offices set a combined goal to provide 6,000 meals (each meal costs about 33 cents) through their April 17-30 donation period.

The end result?
  • Total donations of more than $7,000
  • An average donation of more than $90
  • 25,427 pounds of food
  • 21,189 meals

“This took off because this crisis hit close to home for everyone,” Hadnott says. “Everyone was quick to do something to support people in need.”
But the question must be asked: Who won?
“With money raised for more than 21,000 meals, the families who rely on Second Harvest Food Bank earned the win,” Greger says. “So, I guess we’ll just have to challenge Lexus Western to a game of bowling.”

By Dan Nied

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