Toyota kicks off Detroit Auto Show with Its ‘Walk In My Boots’ Community Outreach Program

 Donates Winter Boots and Socks To Homeless and Low-Income Families
Enriching Lives…One Step At A Time at The Salvation Army Harbor Light/Booth Family Shelter
Held in conjunction with the 2018 North American International Auto Show
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Detroit, Mich. – For the seventh consecutive year, while showcasing new vehicles at the North American International Auto Show, Toyota Motor North America, Inc., on Saturday, January 13, 2018, stepped in to protect Detroit area homeless and low-income families from the cold by donating BOGS winter boots, guaranteed to weather harsh conditions, and Smartwool socks, the official sock of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard teams, through its “Toyota Walk In My Boots” community outreach project.  More than 150 residents of The Salvation Army Detroit Harbor Light/Booth Family Shelter, a homeless shelter for primarily women and single mothers and their children, and local families in the community received the donations.
As temperatures have dipped to all-time lows in Michigan this winter, one thing for sure is cold, snowy, and icy days are here through March and warm winter boots and socks are a “must have” in Michigan.  Without adequate clothing, often low-income families and people experiencing homelessness have a much higher risk than the general population of developing exposure-related conditions such as hypothermia and frostbite. “With the need greater than ever because of the extreme cold winter months this year, we are truly grateful to have support from good corporate citizens like Toyota, who are ‘Doing the Most Good’ by raising awareness of our mission to feed, shelter and clothe those who are less fortunate,” said Lt. Colonel John Turner, divisional commander, The Salvation Army of Eastern Michigan.
The Salvation Army Detroit Harbor Light/Booth Family Shelter located in Detroit provides residents with emergency shelter for up to 90 days for single women and single mothers and their children who have become victims of unfortunate life circumstances such as house fire, job loss, foreclosure or domestic violence.  Through the shelter they can receive emergency assistance, case management and pastoral care and worship and special services such as utility assistance, down payment assistance toward first month’s rent, food and clothing assistance.
“At Toyota, we want to build more than just great cars and trucks,” said Al Smith, group vice president and chief social innovation officer, Toyota Motor North America, Inc.  “We believe furthering the success of our communities is key to our success.  We want the work that is being done at The Salvation Army Harbor Light/Booth Family Shelter to continue for years to come.  And, we hope that our donation of winter boots and socks to the families will help to enrich their lives…one step at a time.”
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While many programs offer winter coat, hat and glove giveaways, a person’s feet are often left vulnerable to freezing temperatures and even frostbite.  The timing of the winter boots and socks giveaway was a comfort to many as freezing temperatures hit Michigan in the recent weeks.
Greg Jackson, owner, Prestige Warren Toyota encouraged the families to “don’t be discouraged by where you are right now… surround your children with love…no matter what.” Meanwhile, Ronnie McNeir of The Four Tops told them to “get up early, get out and do what you need to do to take care of your children,” as he sung a rendition of “Diamond in the Back” and “Family Reunion.”  Munson Steed, CEO, Steed Media Group, publisher of Rolling Out, and author of a new children’s coloring book geared toward African American children, personally signed his book for all the children at the event.
It was a joyous morning as Toyota brought a ray of sunshine and warmth to the families.  Toyota also donated $15,000 to The Salvation Army Harbor Light/Booth Family Shelter enabling them to continue to provide refuge for children and families in times of crisis.  They also treated the families to a “Thanksgiving-style” buffet luncheon by Unique Food Management.  In its seventh year, through this program, Toyota has donated over 1,200 pairs of winter boots and contributed nearly $100,000 in cash just in Detroit alone.  The project has also been held in Chicago, Washington DC, Baltimore, and new this year, Harrisburg, PA.
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About Toyota
Toyota (NYSE:TM), the world’s top automaker and creator of the Prius and the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota and Lexus brands. Over the past 50 years, we’ve built more than 30 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 44,000 people (more than 34,000 in the U.S.).  Our 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.8 million cars and trucks (nearly 2.5 million in the U.S.) in 2015 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today.
Toyota partners with philanthropic organizations across the country, with a focus on education, safety and the environment.  As part of this commitment, we share the company’s extensive know-how garnered from building great cars and trucks to help community organizations and other nonprofits expand their ability to do good. For more information about Toyota, visit


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