Toyota Donates 175 Pairs of Boots to Homeless Individuals at Army Shelter
Cheryl Hale, her husband Daniel, and their children, Kelton and Felicity, are among the tens of thousands of individuals who are experiencing homelessness in Chicago.
Like any parent, Cheryl is aware of the need to protect her children from the elements of harsh Chicago winters. But she recognizes it comes with a cost. “Most of our shoes have holes, and they’re just tennis shoes,” she said.
Carol Randolph, director of The Salvation Army’s Evangeline Booth Lodge, said winter boots are an expense many can’t manage. “I think a lot of families aren’t able to afford a good quality winter boot during the winter time,” Randolph said. “So often, children wear gym shoes all year long.
Thankfully, this need is being met for the Hale family, and dozens of others at Booth Lodge, thanks to a recent donation. Toyota gave 175 pairs of Bogs boots to families at Booth Lodge as part of the company’s “Walk in My Boots” community outreach project.
“This came at such a great time for us,” Cheryl said.
“This generous donation of boots and socks – much needed, but often overlooked essentials – will make a difference in the lives of the families we serve, from children walking to the bus stop to adults commuting to work or pounding the pavement to find their next job,” said Major Kjell Steinsland, general secretary of The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division.
Toyota also donated $15,000 to The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division, with the goal of assisting families in times of crisis. Families who attended the boot distribution were treated to a Thanksgiving-style buffet luncheon prepared by Fanfares of Chicago.
“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 through The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division 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.”
This is the seventh year Toyota has donated boots to families at Booth Lodge. Over these years, Toyota has donated more than 1,400 pairs of boots to the homeless in Chicago and more than $100,000 to The Salvation Army. “Walk in My Boots” is held in conjunction with the Chicago Auto Show each year.
“This gift will help keep families safe and warm this winter, and for years to come,” Major Steinsland said.