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AARP AARP States West Virginia Press

AARP WV, Toyota Collaborate on Providing Vehicle to Putnam Aging for Vaccine Outreach Efforts

AARP and Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) have teamed up to provide a helping hand to homebound West Virginians struggling in the COVID-19 pandemic, delivering a vehicle to Putnam County Aging Program, Inc. that will serve as a huge boost to the aging services provider’s outreach efforts in the community.

Putnam Aging Executive Director Jenni Sutherland (left) receives keys to a 2021 Toyota Sienna Hybrid minivan from Barry Pearson, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, West Virginia, and AARP West Virginia State Director Gaylene Miller at the Buffalo, West Virginia Senior Center on August 4, 2021 (Photo/AARP West Virginia)

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 in underserved communities. Building on a 10-year collaboration, Toyota worked with AARP to identify local organizations across nine states focused on providing essential services in underserved communities.

The work with Putnam Aging is an important part of that initiative. This vehicle donation is part of Toyota providing more than 50 vehicles overall to a variety of organizations in 13 states.

“Working with older adults throughout our service area, we have seen first-hand the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on our elderly population. This vehicle will allow us to provide those we serve with more rides for COVID-19 vaccines and other essential needs,” said Jenni Sutherland, Executive Director of Putnam Aging. “We are excited to partner with Toyota and AARP to ensure all residents of Putnam County wanting a vaccination will have transportation to do so.”

Across the nation, this mobility challenge affects an estimated 4 million people. If people can’t access vaccination sites due to limited transit options, then help is needed to bring the vaccine to them or provide the necessary transportation. The support from Toyota and AARP is helping local organizations increase vaccine awareness, education and access.

“Through mobility we can improve access to vaccines and enable organizations to reach hundreds of thousands of people across the country,” said Barry Pearson, general manager of administration at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, West Virginia. “By collaborating with AARP and additional community partners, we’re able to extend resources to organizations that have an intricate knowledge of the communities’ specific needs, coming together to make the strongest impact.”

Putnam County residents can now book essential rides, including transportation for COVID-19 vaccine appointments. For more information, contact Putnam Aging at 1-304-755-2385, 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Monday – Friday.

“AARP is proud of the role we have played in helping older Americans navigate the health and economic challenges of this pandemic,” said Gaylene Miller, AARP West Virginia State Director. “Strong community-based service providers like Putnam Aging are critical to supporting older West Virginians living at home, and the family caregivers helping them to remain there. This collaboration with Toyota will make an important difference in these efforts.”

To see more of what AARP is doing in your community, visit To learn more about Toyota’s complete COVID-19 response efforts, visit


AARP WV Media Contact: Tom Hunter, 304.340.4605,

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