Toyota Supports Detroit’s Eastside Community Donates Winter Boots and Socks to Low-Income Families
DETROIT, Mich. (Jan. 15, 2022) - As cold frigid temperatures hit Michigan in the past weeks, Toyota Motor North America stepped in for the 11th consecutive year to support the local Detroit community through its “Walk In My Boots” community outreach project. On Saturday, January 15, 2022, over 150 family members in need from The Salvation Army (TSA) Conner Creek Corps & Community Center on Detroit eastside received new insulated winter boots and socks to help shield families from the cold.
“What better day to bring this project to support the community then on the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” said Curt McAllister, Midwest Public Relations Manager, Toyota Motor North America. “Dr. King once asked, ‘What are you doing for others?’ At Toyota, we believe that we can only make this world a better place by living what we value -- equality, respect and inclusive treatment of all people.”
The timing of the winter boots and socks giveaway was a comfort to many as cold temperatures hit Michigan this week. Winter is the often the hardest time of year for many 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 some programs offer winter coat, hat and glove giveaways, a person’s feet are often left exposed as many families take the bus or walk in harsh elements. One family member said, “I am so happy. I can take off those gym shoes and wear my new boots. And, my kids don’t have to walk to school without boots.”
Toyota’s focus on supporting the Detroit community was reiterated this past summer when it jumpstarted The Salvation Army’s “Summer In the City presented by Toyota” match fundraising campaign with a $250,000 donation towards the expansion of the TSA Conner Creek Community Center. Through this campaign, funding will go toward construction of new classrooms to support additional educational opportunities, computer classes, mentoring and tutoring services; construction of a new gymnasium to provide year-round exercise and recreational programs; renovation and expansion of the current food pantry; and expansion of existing senior, student and youth programming.
Alva Adams Mason, executive group manager, Multicultural Business Alliance and Strategy; and Multicultural Dealer Development, Toyota Motor North America, said, “Many people know Toyota as a car company, but we’re so much more than that. We are passionate about serving in the communities where we live and work. Conner Creek which is a longtime staple in the community serves as a haven for kids and adults alike. With so many people in need due to the recent pandemic crises, it’s a major reason why Toyota continues to do whatever we can to ensure Detroiters are getting the help they need.”
The Connor Creek Corps Community Center offers a place of respite, refuge, peace and prayer for the entire community. Of the neighborhoods that Conner Creek serves, 70 percent of family households are headed by single mothers, nearly 43 percent of residents live at the poverty level and 34 percent of all properties are either blighted or vacant. “We are grateful to Toyota for their deep and longtime commitment of time, talent and resources to Metro Detroit and the Conner Creek community through the Walk In My Boots program and many other initiatives,” said Lt. Henry Boateng, The Salvation Army Conner Creek Corps & Community Center Officer. “The Conner Creek Corps Community Center plays a major role in a lot of people’s live on Detroit’s eastside. However, our current program space will not be sufficient for much longer. We are blessed to have support from good corporate citizens who are ‘Doing the Most Good’ to improve the quality of life for eastside residents and allow Conner Creek to truly become a special gathering place for the community.”
It was a great afternoon as Toyota brought a ray of sunshine and warmth to the families. Toyota also donated an additional $15,000 to The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division enabling them to continue to support the community. Due to COVID restrictions, the families were treated to a hot boxed lunch catered by Jackson’s Five Star Catering. Through this program, in Detroit alone, Toyota has donated over 2,000 pairs of winter boots and socks to families in need and contributed more than $140,000 to the TSA Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division. The project has also been held in Chicago, Washington DC, Baltimore, and Harrisburg, PA. And, new this year Toyota is expanding the program to Minneapolis, MN supporting the George Floyd community.
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Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. for more than 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands, plus our nearly 1,500 dealerships. Toyota has created a tremendous value chain and directly employs more than 36,000 in the U.S. The company has contributed world-class design, engineering, and assembly of more than 30 million cars and trucks at our 9 manufacturing plants, 10 including our joint venture in Alabama that is scheduled to begin production in 2021.
To help inspire the next generation for a career in STEM-based fields, including mobility, Toyota launched its virtual education hub at www.TourToyota.com with an immersive experience and chance to visit many of our U.S. manufacturing facilities. The hub also includes a series of free STEM-based lessons and curriculum through Toyota USA Foundation partners, virtual field trips and more. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.
About The Salvation Army
Founded by William and Catherine Booth in London, England in 1865, The Salvation Army is a faith-based, non-profit organization dedicated to serving people in need without discrimination. This past year, The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit was involved in providing 2,446,588 meals and 382,681 nights of shelter for the homeless. The Salvation Army uses $.86 of every dollar raised to provide direct services to people in need each and every day of the year. For more information about The Salvation Army, please call 877-SAL-MICH, or visit us at salmich.org.
Toyota Midwest Public Relations
Sharon Tatom Garcia
The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division Communications
Crystal Vision Communications, LLC