Each year, winter clothing drives distribute coats, hats, scarves and gloves to families in need. But often, two other necessary items are overlooked: boots and socks.

In the colder months, a person’s feet are vulnerable to frostbite when exposed, and prolonged exposure can lead to hypothermia. That’s why Toyota joined with The Salvation Army in 2012 for the “Walk in My Boots” community outreach program, which has helped shield low-income families from harsh weather conditions in cities across the United States, including Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore, Washington D.C., and Harrisburg, Pa.

As part of the initiative, Toyota gives away BOGS insulated boots and Smartwool socks (the official sock of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard teams) to residents of The Salvation Army homeless shelters, and members of TSA Boys and Girls Clubs and TSA Head Start during auto show events in each city, such as the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Toyota also donates $15,000 every year to each city’s regional division of The Salvation Army. These funds help bolster Salvation Army programs and continue to support families in need of assistance. Since the program’s inception nine years ago, recipients have included The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division (Detroit), The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division (Chicago), the Salvation Army of Central Maryland (Baltimore), and The Salvation Army National Capital Area Command (D.C.), and The Salvation Army of Harrisburg.

The campaign is part of Toyota’s dedication to improving communities by donating time, knowledge, and resources to support local organizations and families.

“At Toyota, we want to build more than just great cars and trucks. We believe furthering the success of our communities is key to our success.” said Alva Adams Mason, Toyota Motor North America senior director of Multicultural Business Alliance and Strategy and Multicultural Dealer Relations. “And, we hope that our donation of all-weather boots and socks to the families will help to enrich their lives…one step at a time.”

Originally published March 13, 2020

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