Toyota Opens Chicago Auto Show Public Days Focusing on Chicagoland Homeless Families

Chicagoans will get a chance to see a stable of exciting new products from Toyota, including a few vehicles not on sale yet, at the 2024 Chicago Auto Show. 

While preparing to showcase an array of new vehicles to the public, Toyota, on Saturday, Feb. 10, first displayed its commitment to the community by supporting Chicagoland unhoused families through its “Walk In My Boots” community outreach project. 

For the 10th year, Toyota donated new Bogs insulated winter boots and Smartwool socks along with serving a home-style buffet luncheon to family members residing at The Salvation Army Evangeline Booth Lodge, a family homeless shelter, and The Salvation Army Shield of Hope, a homeless placement center. 

Toyota also gave a $15,000 donation to The Salvation Army North and Central Illinois Division enabling them to continue to provide shelter for families in times of crisis. “The Salvation Army is thrilled to partner with Toyota for the ‘Walk In My Boots’ community outreach project,” said Major K. Kendall Mathews, associate Chicago Area Commander, The Salvation Army North and Central Illinois Division.  “This donation of boots and socks will help so many Chicagoans who are struggling.”

While many programs offer winter coats, hat and glove giveaways, a person’s feet are often left vulnerable to harsh elements.  In a short period of time, people can be at risk for severe hypothermia, and consequences can be fatal.  One family member said she was grateful for the donation because now they have new boots and socks to keep their feet warm when going from place to place.

“Many people know Toyota as a car company, but we’re so much more than that,” said D’Juan Rudolph, manager, Multicultural Business Alliance and Strategy, Toyota Motor North America.  “We’re passionate about serving communities by giving our time, knowledge and resources to support local organizations.  The economic downturn has been extremely hard on families in need, and we hope that our donation of winter boots and socks will help to transform lives…one step at a time.”

Through this program, in Chicago alone, Toyota has donated more than 1,775 pairs of winter boots and socks to help families in need while contributing over $150,000 to The Salvation Army North and Central Illinois Division during the Chicago Auto Show Days.  “Walk In My Boots” has also been held in Detroit, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Minneapolis, and Harrisburg, PA.

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