Helping children attend UNITE’s youth programs and addicts receive access to treatment and education would be enhanced if Operation UNITE wins a new vehicle from Toyota.

To make this happen, however, UNITE needs the public’s support in an on-line contest to be held Sunday, June 26, from 6 a.m. to midnight.

“We are asking people to vote, and ask their friends to vote on June 26,” said Karen Kelly, director of UNITE. “This is an easy way to support UNITE without ever having to leave home.”

“Reaching more kids with the message of hope and ensuring those seeking to turn their lives away from addiction are key focuses of UNITE,” Kelly noted. “Transportation issues in rural southern and eastern Kentucky has always been a huge hurdle. Having a new vehicle will better enable UNITE to serve the needs of those in our region.”

Earlier this year Toyota announced its “100 Cars for Good” initiative, a program that will award 100 cars to 100 non-profit organizations over the course of 100 days.

From a pool of thousands, UNITE was selected by “an independent panel of six socially conscious judges, including experts in the world of philanthropy and nonprofits,” as one of 500 “compelling” organizations to make it to the voting round.

Anyone wishing to preview UNITE’s video entry prior to June 26 may do so by going to the UNITE website homepage at

UNITE will match up against four other non-profits on June 26. The organization receiving the most votes from the public on that day will receive a new car to better help the community.

How To Vote For UNITE

To vote, citizens need to log-on to their Facebook account then visit the 100 Cars for Good app located at Click onto the “Vote Today” icon to bring up the five finalists for that day and follow voting instructions.

UNITE was one of 29 organizations from Kentucky to be selected as finalists, and the only organization from Southeastern Kentucky.

There are a number of ways UNITE would benefit from a receiving new Toyota Sienna.

Every summer there are dozens of students wishing to attend Camp UNITE – a week-long program for middle school-aged children held at the University of the Cumberlands – but are unable to find a ride. A new vehicle would help us transport these children to camp.

In addition, the car would give UNITE space to carry learning materials and tools needed to implement educational activities throughout the region year-round.

A new vehicle would also enable our treatment staff to meet one-on-one with individuals seeking help for an addiction and to help them get to a treatment program.

UNITE also serves as a go-to organization in times of crisis. Last year, Operation UNITE supplied hundreds of families with provisions following the devastating floods in Pike County. A new vehicle would assist in this effort as well.

According to Jim Lentz, president of Toyota Motor Sales, over the past 20 years the automaker has awarded more than $500 million to philanthropic organizations in the United States.

The “100 Cars for Good” program, however, is the first time Toyota has “crowdsourced” allocation of philanthropic funding, Lentz noted. “We wanted to engage the community and the supporters of thousands of worthy organizations in this process – allowing their voices to be heard as we award 100 vehicles based on their votes.”