Toyota Donates Nearly 200 New Winter Boots To Low-Income Chicago Families through the “Walk in My Boots” Program
In the midst of one of Chicago’s most brutal winters on record, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, through its “Toyota Walk In My Boots” community outreach project took time out from the Chicago Auto Show to help area low-income families by providing new insulated winter boots to more than 100 families served by The Salvation Army Temple Corps Community Center on the Near West Side of Chicago.
While many programs offer winter coat giveaways, a person’s feet are often left vulnerable to freezing temperatures and even frostbite. With this donation, many families will be shielded from the cold. In addition, Toyota made a $15,000 donation to The Salvation Army Chicago Metropolitan Division, enabling them to continue to provide support for families in times of crisis.
LaTasha Walker has been coming to The Salvation Army Temple Corps Community Center for the past 15 years. She looks after seven children, ranging in age from 3 to 11, and says having boots for all of them is a blessing. “It’s nice knowing that their feet are warm and that they won’t get wet,” said LaTasha. “Toyota is absolutely wonderful for doing this for our families.”
Her daughter Audreanna, 11, loves her new boots. “They’re so comfortable! I just want to wear them all day,” she said. “It’s so cold out, so it was nice of Toyota to give us boots because now we can step in the snow and twist in the snow and do all kinds of fun stuff like have snowball fights. Now I can stay outside longer and I won’t be freezing.”
“Through their generous donation, Toyota is helping us to meet the critical needs of the most vulnerable families and children during one of the harshest winters in Chicago’s recorded history,” said Lt. Colonel Ralph Bukiewicz, Divisional Commander of The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division. “The cold and snow we are experiencing this year is no small matter, and for many it has been a life threatening event. So anything we can do to prevent one more child from frostbite or one more family from huddling in an apartment without heat, is of great significance. We are truly blessed to have corporate partners like Toyota.”
Since 1991, Toyota has given over half-a-billion dollars to non-profit organizations in the U.S., and each year commits at least 25 percent of their giving to organizations and programs that support diverse communities.
Toyota also treated family participants of the facility to a luncheon buffet catered by Fanfare’s Catering of Chicago. Many of the family members expressed their gratitude to receive a down-home cooked meal that was enjoyed with their family and neighborhood friends.
“At Toyota, we strive to help the communities where we live and work by supporting local organizations focused on the areas of environment, education and safety,” said Michael Rouse, Vice President of Diversity, Philanthropy and Community Affairs at Toyota Motor Sales, USA. “While many programs offer coats and outerwear, we thought it’s just as important to protect a person’s feet from the cold temperatures and snowy days. And this winter has been one of the coldest across the country. So, on behalf of the employees at Toyota Motor Sales USA, we hope that our donation of winter boots will warm your feet, your heart and your soul.”
On behalf of The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division, thank you to Toyota Motor Sales, USA for their generous donation and for helping The Salvation Army to continue “Doing The Most Good.”