Toyota presents The Salvation Army with a $15,000 donation (Standing L-R): Kyra Fisher, administrator, Women & Children’s Integrative Services, The Salvation Army Harbor Light/Booth Family Shelter; Toyota Motor North America’s Curt McAllister and Kia McWhorter; Captain Jamie Winkler, The Salvation Army, Munson Steed; CEO Steed Media Group and publisher,; and Christina Gallop, director, Corporate & Foundation Relations, The Salvation Army, Eastern Michigan Division. (Photo Credit: Andrea Stinson Oliver – Stills by Stinson)






  Toyota Continues Commitment to Detroit Families

Donating Winter Boots and Socks to Homeless and Low-Income Women and Children

DETROIT - Even though the North American International Auto Show has moved its event to June of 2020, Toyota Motor North America continued its commitment to support the local community for the ninth consecutive year through its “Walk In My Boots” community outreach project usually held during the Detroit Auto Show. On Saturday, January 11, 2020, Toyota stepped in to protect Detroit area homeless and low-income families from the cold by donating new insulated winter boots, guaranteed to weather harsh conditions, and Smartwool socks to more than 150 residents of The Salvation Army (TSA) Detroit Harbor Light/Booth Family Shelter, a homeless shelter primarily for women and single mothers and their children, and local families from the TSA Head Start program.

“At Toyota, we want to build more than just great cars and trucks,” said Alva Adams Mason, national director, Multicultural Business Alliance and Strategy; and Multicultural Dealer Relations, Toyota Motor North America. “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.”

More than 65,000 people in Michigan experienced homelessness in 2018, up about 3% from 2017 according to an annual report from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. Homelessness is ticking up because housing prices are going up faster than incomes, and affordable housing for the lowest-income people and families remains scarce. Sixty-three percent of homeless families in Michigan are led by single mothers with an average monthly income of $629. Michigan also has one of the largest populations of homeless students in the U.S. with over 36,000 children in public schools facing homelessness and/or housing insecurity, according to a recent study by the University of Michigan. Covering the basic living expenses of housing and food alone is a difficult, if not an impossible, task for many.

Winter is the hardest time of year for homeless and low-income families. When temperatures drop below freezing as they often do in Michigan, people are at severe risk for hypothermia to set in and consequences can be fatal. While many programs offer winter coat giveaways, a person’s feet are often left exposed as many low-income families use local modes of transportation like taking the bus or walking in harsh elements. The timing of the winter boots and socks giveaway was a comfort to many as freezing rain and cold temperatures hit Michigan this week.

“It’s important to protect one’s feet, especially when dealing with Michigan’s brutal cold temperatures and wintry weather,” says, Captain Jamie Winkler, director of The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Harbor Light System. “The Salvation Army is appreciative of Toyota Motor North America’s Walk in My Boots program. We are blessed to have support from good corporate citizens who are ‘Doing the Most Good’ by raising awareness of our mission to feed, clothe and shelter those who are less fortunate.”

It was a great 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 homeless women and single mothers and their children and families from the TSA Head Start program in times of crisis. The families were treated to a “Thanksgiving-style” buffet luncheon by Jackson’s Five Star Catering. Meanwhile, Munson Steed, CEO, Steed Media Group, publisher of Rolling Out, and creator/author of children’s books that are culturally relevant to children of color and focus on education and technology, “Little Professor Skye’s Sleep, Sleep, Dream, Dream” and “Atom Smart,” were personally autographed and given to the children at the event compliments of Toyota. Through this program, in Detroit alone, Toyota has donated over 1,600 pairs of winter boots and contributed more than $115,000 to the TSA Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division. The project has also been held in Chicago, Washington DC, Baltimore, and Harrisburg, PA.

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.





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