Toyota Motor Sales, USA,through its "Toyota Walk In My Boots" community outreach project, stepped in to help area homeless women and children by providing new insulated winter boots and socks -- for the fourth consecutive year -- to the residents of The Salvation Army Denby Center for Children and Family Services in Detroit.
Often homeless individuals do not have adequate clothing to fight the cold elements of a Michigan winter. While many programs offer winter coat giveaways, a person's feet are often left vulnerable to freezing temperatures and even frost bite. The project offers comfort in a time of need as temperatures dropped to extreme lows this past week. Toyota also gave a $15,000 donation to The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit enabling them to continue to provide refuge for children and families in times of crisis.
The Salvation Army Denby Center currently offers shelter for up to 160 residents -- primarily women and single mothers and their children -- due to job loss, house fires, foreclosure or domestic violence. Residents can remain in the shelter for up to 90 days. "We are so grateful to Toyota for both the monetary donation to the Metro Detroit area, and the footwear donation to the Denby Center residents specifically, which is especially helpful during these harsh winter months," said Major Mark Anderson, general secretary and Metro Detroit area commander, The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division. "With the need greater than ever because of the cold winter storms, we are blessed 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."
An estimated 86,000 Michigan residents are homeless, according to the Community Housing Network. More than half of Michigan's homeless population is made up of families; and one in three who are homeless are children. In Detroit alone, two-thirds of people can't afford basic needs like housing and health care, even when family members are employed; and 67% of Detroit families are either under the poverty line or what is identified as "ALICE", asset-limited, income-constrained, employed, says the United Way.
"At Toyota, we want to build more than just great cars and trucks," said Michael Rouse, vice president, Diversity, Philanthropy and Community Affairs, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. "We want to help build great places to live; and in times like these, we must remember to help one another. We want the work that is being done at The Salvation Army Denby Center for almost 90 years to continue for years to come. And, we hope that our donation of winter boots and socks will help to enrich lives...one step at a time."