Car Seat Safety

Car seats are vital to a child’s health & safety but many of us are installing the seats incorrectly. Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about your child’s car seat or booster can be found here. 

I do not have any children (unless you count my dog, Riggs, and I do but I don’t want to cause confusion here) so for the sake of this article, I will define my “parenthood” status solely by the raising a human being. So no, I am not a mother. I do, however, have seven nieces and nephews. They are the loves of my life and I feel pretty darn lucky to be their aunt. 

On the occasions that I take one or two or three of them out to do something special, I keep my fingers crossed that I can borrow one of my sibling’s minivans. *And no, I have never taken all seven out at once because that would be a suicide mission. I hope for the Sienna in part because I LOVE it (I can discuss this at a later occasion on the blog, but real talk—the Sienna is one of the best vehicles in Toyota’s lineup) and also in part because I’m lazy and transferring car seats and/or boosters seats from one vehicle to another is a PAIN in the butt. The seats are large, awkward and so terribly difficult to install. I can remember one particularly frustrating experience in which I attempted to install my nephew’s car seat in my Corolla—the fiasco ended with me in tears after failing to find the metal anchor in the back seat cushion. Once it was pointed out to me, I was embarrassed that I couldn’t see it all along!

While the frustration of the installation might drive us all crazy, studies show over and over again that it is worth the fuss when it comes to the safety of a child. Unfortunately, many of us are installing or using our baby/booster car seats incorrectly, rendering their safety benefits practically useless. According to the CDC, ”Motor vehicle injuries are a leading cause of death to children in the United States.” These are preventable deaths. From the CDC

Car seat use reduces the risk for death to infants (aged <1 year) by 71%; and to toddlers (aged 1–4 years) by 54% in passenger vehicles. Booster seat use reduces the risk for serious injury by 45% for children aged 4–8 years when compared with seat belt use alone. For older children and adults, seat belt use reduces the risk for death and serious injury by approximately half.

These statistics are staggering.

Continue reading

Helping Houston after Harvey

We’re reaching out to our friends in Houston, TX to see how we can help them during these incredibly tough times. The Houston Food Bank will be an indispensable resource for those affected by hurricane Harvey. 

To donate to the Houston Food Bank here or visit their website at

The American Red Cross is currently on the ground in Houston:

Hundreds of Red Cross volunteers from all over the country are on the ground now, working to provide safe shelter and comfort to people impacted by this devastating storm. The Red Cross has enough shelter supplies in Texas to support 28,000 people and supplies for an additional 22,000 people are being sent in now.

In addition, tractor trailer loads of ready-to-eat meals, comfort kits, kitchen supplies and cleaning supplies are on the ground in Texas. Nearly half of our emergency response fleet — more than 150 vehicles – have been mobilized. The Red Cross also prepositioned blood products in Houston ahead of the storm to help ensure we can maintain an adequate blood supply over the weekend. We have staged additional blood inventory in Dallas.

You can donate to the American Red Cross here.

The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster or simply, “‘National VOAD’, an association of organizations that mitigate and alleviate the impact of disasters, provides a forum promoting cooperation, communication, coordination and collaboration; and fosters more effective delivery of services to communities affected by disaster.” They recommend supporting a local Texas VOAD member as that local team knows best how to handle your donation. To learn more and to donate, click here

A Better Hope Foundation Raffle

Join Oak Lawn Toyota & A Better Hope Foundation on August 20, 2016 for the Raffle of a 1972 Custom Harley Davidson Motorcycle signed by the 2015 Stanley Cup-Winning Chicago Blackhawks!  There are a limited number of raffle tickets available so please click here to purchase your tickets TODAY!  To learn more about A Better Hope Foundation, click here.

Veteran Driver’s License Distinction

Have you served your country and are a resident of Illinois? Governor Bruce Rauner recently signed into legislation a bill to give veterans distinction for their service on their driver’s license. 

Nothing will ever be “enough” when it comes to our recognition and gratitude for the sacrifice of service members, but small steps towards greater recognition is better than nothing. 

For the full story, click here

Don’t forget our ongoing efforts to raise money for the USO of Illinois! Stop by Saturday, July 16 for our BBQ for the Troops!  

Red Nose Day Is Here!

It’s here friends! We’re raising money for Red Nose Day today AND for the next week!  For every Oak Lawn Toyota social media post that contains the hashtag #rednoseday, we’re donating $1 dollar for each “like” received on that post.  At the end of next week, we’ll MATCH the dollar amount (from the likes) and then donate that total amount to the official Red Nose Day fund.

Continue reading

Red Nose Day ’16

What is Red Nose Day?!

Red Nose Day occurs on May 26, 2016 and we’re thrilled to participate with the millions of other folks across the U.S. and the world. Red Nose Day raises money for children’s charities across the world in efforts to cloth, feed, and provide safety and shelter for our youngest and most vulnerable citizens of the world. 

Half of the money distributed by Red Nose Day 2016 will be spent right here in the U.S. The other half will be spent in some of the poorest communities in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. All money raised supports projects that ensure kids are safe, healthy, and educated.

Red Nose Day charities include: Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Charity: Water, Children’s Health Fund, Covenant House, Feeding America, OxFam America, and many more! 

Red Nose Day is a fundraising campaign run by the non-profit organization Comic Relief Inc., a registered 501(c)(3) American public charity. Funds raised go to the Red Nose Day Fund and last year benefited children in all 50 states and 15 countries internationally through programs to keep children and young people safe, healthy and educated. Comic Relief Inc. in the US and Comic Relief UK are independent sister organizations that are joined by their shared vision of a just world, free from poverty and the mission to drive positive change through the power of entertainment.

For more information, please visit Red Nose Day‘s website.