Home > Charity, In the Community, News, Press Release, Toyota > Boy’s Family to Receive Handicapped-Accessible Vehicle from Toyota of Manhattan & Bay Ridge Toyota

Boy’s Family to Receive Handicapped-Accessible Vehicle from Toyota of Manhattan & Bay Ridge Toyota

The holiday season is upon us and this is the time that we were taught as children, that we should do a selfless deed. I remember as a child shoveling snow from my elderly neighbor’s walkway and stairs, and then being offered money in return for my kindness.  I still remember the look on their faces as I said “thank you for the offer, but I cannot accept your money” I gave them a hug and walked away. To this day, I can still recall the proud, amazing feeling I was left with in my heart after helping that elderly couple with no expectation of anything in return. From that day on, it became a regular part of my life, to assist them in any way that I could. Unfortunately, years passed, and so did they. What I wouldn’t give to be able to give myself to someone who really needs a service like that again. A couple of hour’s out of my life, a feeling like no other.

 As we get older we seem to lose sight of the little things that we can do on a daily basis, to help make someone else’s life a little easier.  I understand that these days, with the condition of the economy, most of us are not in the position to make a large financial gift to someone in need. I also understand that it’s hard enough to find the time to get 6 hours of sleep, let alone 8 on a daily basis. Forget about finding the time to walk down to your local soup kitchen and offer your services. It’s not that we don’t want to, we just can’t figure out how to.  We can however start off small. How about something as simple as smiling at someone when you pass them on the street, or lend an ear to a co-worker when they look down in the dumps. Maybe you can give up your seat on the bus to that person that looks a little more tired than you feel, or maybe you can help a neighbor shovel their walkway. You never know, it could make a world of difference to them. Maybe it will change their day; maybe it’ll change their lives. Hey, maybe it’ll change yours…


December 7, 2011
For Immediate Release

Allison Witty (Hikind) |  718-853-9616 |917-685-6787

Joe Ciaccia (Bay Ridge Toyota) | 347-415-9497

Jason Schroeck (Toyota of Manhattan) | 908-644-6801




Just in time for the holiday season, Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) has teamed up with Bay Ridge Toyota and Toyota of Manhattan to present a 2012 Toyota Sienna Mobility Edition van valued at close to $50,000 to the family of 12-year-old Alter Pinter. Alter’s legs were amputated last year after he nearly lost his battle with a vicious case of swine flu which raged through his entire body and spread to his legs. He has been confined to a wheelchair ever since.

Hikind and representatives from Toyota will be on hand next Monday at a ceremony to present the vehicle to the Pinter family and to hand over the keys. “It’s easy to become cynical in today’s world,” said Hikind. “What Toyota has done is a shining example of the humanity that can and still does exist in the world. I am awed by their generosity, and am hopeful that other individuals and corporations will follow their example to help improve the quality of life for someone less fortunate. This is about different communities coming together to make a significant difference.”

Echoing Hikind’s sentiments, Jason Schroeck, Social Media and Web Manager for Toyota of Manhattan said, “This is about reaching beyond our community to help others. It’s about the season for giving. But more importantly, it’s about a child and family in need. The families at Bay Ridge Toyota and Toyota of Manhattan hope that through our donation, we can somehow make life a little easier, and bring a smile to the face of such a wonderful little boy and his family in this difficult time of their lives.”

Hikind was initially approached by Mekimi CEO Chesky Kauftheil about the Pinter family. Mekimi (www.mekimi.org), which provides a host of support services to children and young adults who are combating cancer and other life-threatening illnesses, has been working extensively to help the Pinter family. “Mr. Kauftheil said to me, ‘is there anything we can do to help this family get a handicapped-accessible vehicle?’” Hikind recalled. ‘“Right now the only way to get Alter into the family car is to carry him from his wheelchair into the car. It’s very upsetting to him and the whole family.’”

Soon after, Hikind met with the boy and his family to ascertain their exact needs and immediately contacted Mr. John Giuffre of the Bay Ridge Automotive Group to ask for his assistance. “It was a no-brainer for him,” remarked Hikind. “He said he just had to work out the logistics, but that he would have the car ready for the family within three weeks. He was nothing short of remarkable. John is truly the hero of this story.”

“Mekimi is extremely grateful to Assemblyman Hikind and to all the executives at Toyota who helped make getting a handicapped-accessible van for Alter a reality,” said Mr. Kauftheil. “None of this would be possible without the immense generosity and kindness of Bay Ridge Toyota and Toyota of Manhattan. There are no words to express our tremendous gratitude.”

The ceremony will take place on Monday, December 12, at 11 AM in the parking lot adjacent to Mekimi Headquarters at 1463 42nd Street in Borough Park, Brooklyn.


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