Toyota of Bowie, which an official said is more than just an auto dealership, is intent on using its considerable resources to continue giving back to the community.
This year, the company is looking forward to the Muscular Dystrophy Association Muscle Walk, which it sponsored for $7,500. In addition to that, Toyota of Bowie donated $8,500 to Shepherd’s Cove Shelter toward its ongoing renovations for a new library and learning center.
It marked the dealership’s largest donation to date, said Rose Bayat, director of customer retention at RRR Automotive Group, owner of Toyota of Bowie. Some of its 150 employees will also volunteer at the shelter in varying capacities, Bayat added.
All of this activity is part of the company’s aim is creating an internal culture that supports the community, she said.
“We just feel it’s very important to give back to those communities that we serve, whether it’s giving back money or time,” Bayat said. “Some people can write a check, but if you can’t write a check, your time is many times more valuable than writing a check.”
The continued charitable activity comes several years after Toyota of Bowie paid $202,000 to settle a race discrimination lawsuit from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, The Gazette reported. The lawsuit, filed in 2005, alleged that the company did not hire a Silver Spring man as sales or finance manager in 2004 because of his race. It also alleged that the company fired a Landover man working as finance manager in 2004 because of his race.
Toyota of Bowie admitted no wrongdoing when it agreed to the settlement in 2008, The Gazette reported. Nobody had ever sued the company for racial discrimination before, and it settled the lawsuit to avoid the time and expense of ongoing litigation, The Gazette reported.
Bayat said the company’s philanthropic efforts predate the lawsuit by at least 20 years.
Meanwhile, Toyota of Bowie has made its presence known in the community through various philanthropic events. Initiatives in 2015 include donating to the Gabriel Network, which supports women and families dealing with crisis pregnancy; and donating volunteer efforts and money to the Bowie Interfaith Pantry and Emergency Aid Fund.