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Toyota Kicks Off Chicago Auto Show by Donating Winter Boots and Socks to Chicagoland Families


Contact: Curt McAllister
Cell:  313-318-3906
Toyota Midwest Communications
[email protected]

Contact: Crystal Williams
Cell:  313-402-5722
Crystal Vision Communications, LLC
[email protected]

Contact: Brian Duewel
Cell:  773-551-9069
The Salvation Army North and Central Illinois Division Comm.
[email protected]

Contact: Lisa Wilmore
Cell: 313-980-4766
[email protected]



‘Walk In My Boots’ Community Outreach Project
Transforming Lives…One Step At A Time at The Salvation Army Evangeline Booth Lodge

CHICAGO (Feb. 2023) - While preparing to showcase an array of new vehicles at the 2023 Chicago Auto Show, Toyota first showcased its continued commitment to support local Chicago families facing homelessness by donating winter boots and socks through its “Walk In My Boots” community outreach project.  To help shield families from the cold, on Saturday, February 4, 2023, more than 150 family members residing in The Salvation Army Evangeline Booth Lodge, a family homeless shelter in Chicago, received Bogs winter boots guaranteed to weather harsh conditions and Smartwool hiking socks that keep feet warm and dry.

In addition, Toyota donated $15,000 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 Captain TJ Simmons, divisional youth and candidate secretary, The Salvation Army North and Central Illinois Division.  “This partnership will help so many Chicagoans who are struggling.”

Smiles were on the faces of many residents as the boots and socks were received just in time as wind chills as low as 20 below zero hit the Chicago area the day before.  While many programs offer winter coat, hat and glove giveaways, a person’s feet are often left exposed 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 has four children and that she was grateful to Toyota 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 Alva Adams Mason, executive group manager, Multicultural Business Alliance and Strategy, and Multicultural Dealer Relations, Toyota Motor North America.  “We're passionate about serving communities by giving our time, knowledge and resources to support local organizations.  The pandemic and 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 their lives…one step at a time.”

Through this program, in Chicago alone, Toyota has donated more than 1,700 pairs of winter boots and socks to help families in need while contributing over $135,000 to The Salvation Army North and Central Illinois Division.  This is Toyota’s ninth year presenting the “Walk In My Boots” program in Chicago.  It has also been held in Detroit, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Minneapolis, and Harrisburg, PA.

Antony Francis, vehicle marketing manager, Toyota Chicago Region; and Guy Drake, new vehicle sales director, Advantage Toyota of River Oaks dealership, participated in the event by helping the families try on new boots. 

The Salvation Army Evangeline Booth Lodge is a haven for women and men with children, along with married couples with children suddenly homeless because of eviction, disasters such as a fire or flood, loss of utilities, domestic violence, being stranded while traveling or other crises. As an interim housing program, the Booth Lodge provides shelter for as many as 60 families each night. The average stay is 63 days, but some stay longer, depending on the time needed to locate permanent living arrangements.


About Toyota
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 directly employs more than 39,000 people in the U.S. who have contributed to the design, engineering, and assembly of nearly 32 million cars and trucks at our nine manufacturing plants. By 2025, Toyota’s 10th plant in North Carolina will begin to manufacture automotive batteries for electrified vehicles. With more electrified vehicles on the road than any other automaker, a quarter of the company’s 2022 U.S. sales were electrified.

To help inspire the next generation for a career in STEM-based fields, including mobility, Toyota launched its virtual education hub at immersive experience and chance to virtually 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
About The Salvation Army North and Central Illinois Division
As one of the largest direct providers of social services in the state of Illinois, The Salvation Army operates 28 corps community centers, as well as other facilities in neighborhoods across the greater Chicago area, offering shelter, meals, childcare, disaster relief, after-school programs, recreational activities, music education and more. To access services or donate, visit

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