"We make a living by what we get we make a life by what we give." Winston Churchill
Realizing that building healthy communities involves more than just donating dollars, TMMK began its Volunteers In Place Program (VIP) during the summer of 1994. Initially the program was developed to encourage and recognize team member volunteer work while supporting TMMK's operating principle and firm belief to be a good corporate citizen. Through the years, Toyota's program has become an important volunteer network to respond to needs in the communities where TMMK team members live.
For many of TMMK team members volunteering is a way of life — whether it's volunteering to build a Habitat House, being a Big Brother or Big Sister, or a scout master for Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, many team members at TMMK are actively involved in their communities. For others, the desire to volunteer is there, but help is needed to get them involved. That's where the VIP Program is most helpful for team members.
In addition to volunteering for individual selected charities, team members are given the opportunity to support group volunteer activities and projects sponsored by TMMK. They may walk in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life or the March of Dimes WalkAmerica, answer phones during Kentucky Educational Television's Telefund, or help with the many activities of Kentucky Special Olympics. Group activities are always well received and many team members who have little free time find that this is the most convenient form of volunteerism for them.
Although volunteers don't feel the need to be recognized, or even want to be, TMMK considers recognition of team members' volunteer time and their charities an important aspect of Toyota's VIP Program. Each year, the top ten volunteers are selected by an Advisory Committee to receive cash awards for their charities and are invited to a recognition dinner. These top ten volunteers have contributed 150+ hours of volunteer time during the year and are selected based on the number of hours volunteered; diversity of their individual volunteer projects; participation in TMMK sponsored events; and leadership roles within their volunteer activities. The top four finalists volunteers receive $1,500 each for their selected charities, the top five semi-finalists receive $500 each for their selected charities, and the Volunteer of Year receives the President's Award and $3,000 for their selected charity. In addition, there is a recognition award for the New Volunteer of the Year which is based on the total number of hours volunteered during their first calendar year in the VIP program. This volunteer will receive $500 for their selected charity.
Team members are asked to log their volunteer activities and hours as an added recognition for team members. Each month three team members are randomly selected and a $200 donation is given to those volunteers' charities of choice. TMMK feels this is one way it can support charities that are important to its team members.
Each year, TMMK gives over $50,000 to charities through the VIP Program, and team members give tens of thousands of hours of volunteer time. Through volunteerism, TMMK and its team members work together to make their communities stronger, healthier and a better place to live.