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Toyota Cares gives $7,500 to Houston County nonprofits



A $7,500 donation will help area nonprofits continue cruising to help others during the pandemic.

The Toyota of La Crosse Cares charitable giving program and Toyota Motor Sales offered the collaborated donation to the La Crescent Food Shelf and Neighbors in Action programs.

The donation included $5,000 from Toyota of La Crosse and an additional $2,500 partial matching gift from Toyota Motor Sales to help the La Crescent Food Shelf continue to address food insecurity throughout Houston County. Additionally, it enables Neighbors in Action to mobilize volunteers to perform tasks that allow older residents to live in their own homes longer.

“We serve upwards of 300 people every year throughout the same county” Neighbors in Action Program Manager Sandy Graves said. “We supplement every single person’s cares, so whether we serve them with a volunteer or whether we serve them with one of our paid staff, people only pay what they can afford. This means that we can continue serving all of the people that have needs at least throughout the summer and fall, and probably to the end of the year. It is an incredible blessing to us. We can’t express our gratitude enough.

Graves said it was one of the largest donations the organizations have seen in at least five years.

“These organizations’ impact on the community has increased substantially during the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic fallout that has followed,” Toyota of La CRosse General Manager Sean Green said. “So many families find themselves facing great uncertainty right now, and the Food Shelf ensures they get the nutrition they need. Older people in our community whose health is at greater risk from the virus receive a helping hand from Neighbors in Action volunteers who perform physically challenging chores, allowing them to feel safe and comfortable with living longer in their own homes.”

Green presented the check to Graves Tuesday.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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