Since 1998 Hyundai and its dealers have been committed to supporting the fight against childhood cancer. What began in 1998 as a local initiative supported by New England-area Hyundai dealers to raise funds for the Jimmy Fund at Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has evolved into Hyundai Hope on Wheels, an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which is supported nationwide by all of Hyundai’s more than 800 dealers and Hyundai Motor America. At the end of 2010, Hyundai Hope on Wheels will have donated more than $23 million to children’s hospitals nationwide to help kids fight cancer. Every time a new Hyundai vehicle is sold in the U.S., $5 is donated to Hope on Wheels.
The Hope on Wheels Tour is the united effort of Hyundai dealers across the country to raise awareness about childhood cancer and celebrate the lives of the courageous children battling the disease. In 2010, the Hope on Wheels Tour traveled to 42 children’s hospitals across the country and donated more than $2 million to support further training and research for doctors involved in childhood cancer research. Hyundai Hope on Wheels designates the medical professionals supported by these donations as Hyundai Scholars.
The 2010 Tour also hosted Handprint Ceremonies for childhood cancer patients, both past and present, at the 42 children’s hospitals receiving donations. The symbol of the Hope on Wheels Tour is a white Hyundai Santa Fe vehicle covered with colorful handprints representing childhood cancer patients from all over the country. The Handprint Ceremony celebrates the courage of childhood cancer patients by capturing their colorful handprints on the white Santa Fe; children attending the ceremony are asked to lend a hand and place their own handprints on the car to commemorate their battle with cancer.
Why handprints? Because there’s nothing more personal than a handprint – and the goal of the Hope on Wheels Tour is to share the personal triumphs of each of these children with other childhood cancer patients and their families across the country. Whether it’s completing a round of chemo, celebrating a beautiful new head of hair or receiving a clean bill of health, one childhood cancer patient’s milestone can be another’s symbol of hope.
This year, Hyundai and its dealers are expanding their commitment to battling childhood cancer with the “Hyundai Gives Hope on Wheels” September program. During the month of September – Childhood Cancer Awareness Month – Hyundai Motor America and Hyundai dealers will raise national awareness about childhood cancer and donate $6.8 million to children’s hospitals and other non-profit organizations across the country.