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AARP, Toyota Collaborate on Vehicles for Vaccine Outreach Initiative in Jackson

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JACKSON, TENN. — AARP and Toyota are teaming up to serve the community in Jackson with a new initiative aimed at improving education, outreach and access to COVID-19 vaccines. The two organizations collaborated to provide three Toyota vehicles to the Southwest Tennessee Development District to assist the MyRide West Tennessee program in its effort to provide transportation to and from COVID vaccine appointments. Each vehicle will feature an eye-catching graphic wrap so they stand-out on area roadways.

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AARP Tennessee State Director Rebecca Kelly delivers remarks during the news conference.

“AARP has helped older Americans navigate the health and economic challenges of the pandemic, and through this collaboration, we’re better able to help people in underserved communities get to and from vaccination appointments or other essential errands,” said Rebecca Kelly, AARP Tennessee State Director.

Building on a 10-year collaboration, Toyota worked with AARP to identify local organizations like the Southwest Tennessee Development District, focused on providing essential services in underserved communities. MyRide West Tennessee is a volunteer-assisted transportation program dedicated to supporting the transportation needs of older adults who do not drive or are unable to drive and need additional assistance on essential trips.

“This donation will greatly increase the capacity of The Southwest Tennessee Development District to fulfill the mission of its MyRide Program. Beginning in 2017, this Program has worked locally to ensure that older adults who need assistance are able to get to medical appointments, pharmacies, grocery stores, and other essential locations. With the onset of the COVID pandemic, the volunteers and staff of the MyRide Program have and continue to work tirelessly to ensure older adults have access to the vaccine and are able to maintain their independence safely. The well-being of older adult riders will be a direct impact of this generous gift”, stated Joe Barker, Executive Director of the Southwest Tennessee Development District.

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L to R: Shelly Hale (Southwest TN Development District), Rebecca Kelly (AARP Tennessee), Jason Bates (Toyota)

Given the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Toyota and AARP are both committed to driving awareness, education, and access to COVID-19 vaccinations for vulnerable individuals. The work with MyRide West Tennessee is an important part of that initiative, which includes 16 cars delivered to nine community organizations around the country, so they deliver even more rides for their constituents. Overall, Toyota is providing more than 50 vehicles to a variety of organizations in 13 states.

“Together with AARP and MyRide West Tennessee, we are working to bring critical vaccine information and rides to vaccine appointments to communities that need it most” said Jason Bates, Senior Manager, Administration at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Tennessee. “Through this initiative, we hope to make a big impact right here in Jackson and the surrounding area.”

To learn more of what AARP is doing in your community, visit www.aarp.org/NearYou .

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