Toronto, Ontario — A new cult is giving Jeep owners a run for their money, as Toyota Canada announced that more than 100 Toyota 4×4 drivers on Vancouver Island came out to give rides to health care workers left stranded by a snow storm.
When the island was hit with an uncommonly severe snowfall in December, members of the “V.I. Toyota 4×4” Facebook group mobilized to help get some of the province’s essential workers back on the road.
“As a community of Toyota 4×4 enthusiasts, driving in the snow is no challenge for us, so when the Vancouver Island Health Authority reached out for support, our members were happy to lend a helping hand,” said Shelby Newcombe, one of the group’s administrators.
“During the two-week snowstorm, we were proud to provide more than 1,000 rides to health care and essential workers.”
The group, which was formed in 2015 and has since grown to exceed 3,600 members, describes itself as “an amazing mix of driving enthusiasts” who support each other in finding parts, providing advice, offering rescues when someone’s stuck in the bush, and joining together for “group runs.”
Finding a way to give back to the local Vancouver Island community has been on the radar for the group for quite some time.
“I contacted the Vancouver Island Health Authority directly several years ago to provide phone numbers for myself and a few others in the group who were interested in helping,” said Newcombe.
The initiative shown by enthusiasts of the Japanese brand caught the attention of some Toyota Canada executives.
“When we heard about this volunteer group, we were so impressed that our customers were pitching in and using their Toyota trucks to help their communities,” said Toyota Canada Pacific zone manager Alec Markin.
“It makes us proud and thankful to see our customers use their 4x4s to safely get our essential workers where they need to be.”
To show its appreciation, Toyota Canada is sending members of the group gas gift cards and Toyota-branded toques.