Family Crisis Center of ETX gets a brand-new Toyota Sienna

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A 2012 Toyota Sienna Mobility was wrapped with a big, red bow and ready for its first drive to the Family Crisis Center of East Texas.

Toyota officials turned over the keys to the brand new car Friday. The crisis center won the vehicle in Toyota's 100 cars for good program.

"They serve a very important purpose and this will help then tremendously because they have that need for that van and it fits perfectly," Joe Loving of Loving Toyota said.

This past spring the crisis center applied for the contest, and out of 4,000 non-profits nationwide, the crisis center was selected as one of 500 finalists.

"The general public was able to vote for the non-profit they felt was most deserving during this process," Heather Kartye, the executive director of the Family Crisis Center of East Texas, said.

Kartye said that transportation is vital for giving victims the tools they need to start over with their lives.

"We have two vans; currently they're both over 10 years old, and this new addition to our fleet will allow us to more adequately serve those that our agency serves," Kartye said.

The crisis center's new vehicle will be used to its clients to job interviews, doctors' appointments, and anywhere else they need to get back on their feet.

"This vehicle just enables them," John Kersh of Gulf State Toyota of East Texas, said. Since it's accessible for the handicapped, it's going to give them some flexibility to better serve their clients."

The winner of the car was determined by popular vote, and officials say the community played a major in helping the crisis center secure a win and help get victims on the road to recovery.

"The support was overwhelming," Kartye said. "We were up against some metro areas and still won by a long shot."

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