By Renae Counter, explorebigsky.com Editorial Assistant

BOZEMAN—Hopa Mountain, an independent nonprofit based in Bozeman, has been selected as a finalist for the Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good program. Over the course of 100 days, Toyota will give away 100 cars to nonprofit organizations based on votes from the public. The 500 nonprofit finalists were selected by an independent panel of expert judges in social responsibility and philanthropy. Voting for Hopa Mountain will open on June 11.

Hopa Mountain is dedicated to providing a “mountain of hope” to rural and tribal comminutes across Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming. To provide that hope, Hopa Mountain’s staff drives thousands of miles each year.
“Last year, we drove more than 30,000 miles throughout Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota; invested in citizen leaders in 27 Northern Rockies communities and distributed more than 20,000 books that were given to rural and tribal children,” executive director Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer said.

According to Sawyer, having a new car would help the company expand their work with tribal and rural communities.

Currently, Hopa relies on rental cars. Laura Wilburn, the organization’s youth coordinator, travels back and forth between Bozeman and Livingston throughout the week to cover both of her operations. To have a company owned car would be an amazing gift, she said.

“It would mean the world to get a new car. It would be much more efficient and eliminate the worry that comes with reserving a rental car.”

Hope Mountain is dedicated to getting to know the communities they are helping in order to work with the people and citizen leaders. It builds off of what is good in the community by finding out what is working. It also provides resources like training, mentoring, networking and finical support to help the community improve what it is already doing. Currently, Hopa Mountain is working on the StoryMakers program, which educates families on the importance of reading to their children, and Indigenous Scholars of Promise, which works with promising Crow and Cheyenne high school students applying to highly competitive colleges.

“We work hard to cover the scope; we’ve got a lot of ambitious goals and a lot of communities we want to be present with,” Wilburn said.

Hopa Mountain is requesting the community’s support to increase its chance of winning a new vehicle. Vote online, June 11, at apps.facebook.com/carsforgood

For more information on Hopa Mountain visit hopamountain.org.