BALTIMORE, Feb. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — As temperatures fluctuate this winter across the country, one thing for sure is snowy, icy and even cold rainy days are here through March and warm winter boots and socks are still a “must have” in Baltimore.  To protect families from the cold and rain, on Saturday, February 6, 2016, Toyota Motor North America through its “Toyota Walk In My Boots” community outreach project held in conjunction with the  Motor Trend International Auto Show-Baltimore activities, stepped in to help underserved and homeless families by providing new insulated boots and socks to more than 200 participants of The Salvation Army (TSA) Booth House Shelter, a homeless shelter for women, men and families with children; TSA Boys and Girls Club of Franklin Square, and TSA Baltimore Temple Corps Community Center.

Without adequate clothing, often low-income families and people experiencing homelessness have a much higher risk than the general population of developing exposure-related conditions such as hypothermia and frostbite. “With the need greater than ever because of the often cold winter days, 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,” said Major Gene A. Hoag, area commander, The Salvation Army of Central Maryland.

If you are poor, you are essentially an illness, an accident, or a paycheck away from living on the streets.  In Maryland in 2014, it was estimated that 7,856 people were homeless.  Nearly 35% of all homeless people in the State of Maryland are in Baltimore city alone (2,756.)  Meanwhile, nearly 24% of Baltimore’s population is living below the poverty line, which is $20,090 a year for a family of three.  And, 61% of Baltimore’s children are living below the poverty line.

“At Toyota, we want to build great cars and trucks as well as help build great communities; and in times like these, we must remember to help one another,” said Michael Rouse, vice president, Diversity, Philanthropy and Community Affairs, Toyota Motor North America.  “We want the work that is being done at The Salvation Army of Central Maryland 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.”

With this donation, many families will be shielded from an unpredictable cold winter.  Toyota also donated $15,000 to The Salvation Army of Central Maryland enabling them to continue to provide refuge for children and families in times of crisis.  They also treated the families to a “Thanksgiving-style” buffet luncheon catered by JD’s Catering.  Baltimore Native MESHELLE, the Indie-Mom of Comedy, while recently releasing a new CD, entitled, “Funny As A Mother,” gave the families some encouraging words as she grew up in Baltimore and understands the many struggles that families are facing right now.

The Salvation Army Booth House Shelter provides residents with emergency shelter and transitional shelter for up to 90 days for women, men and families with children who have become victims of unfortunate life circumstances such as house fire, job loss, foreclosure or domestic violence.  Through the shelter they can receive emergency assistance, case management and pastoral care and worship and special services such as utility assistance, down payment assistance toward first month’s rent, food and clothing assistance. Meanwhile, The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club of Franklin Square, works with families, schools, and outside agencies to provide at-risk youth, ages 6 to 18, with fun educational, recreational, cultural, and technological experiences, helping them to build new friendships, learn new skills, and explore their own talents and strengths.  The Salvation Army Baltimore Temple Corps Community Center provides food and nutrition programs, character building after school programs for children, music and arts programs and worship services for the local community.

About Toyota
Toyota (NYSE: TM), the world’s top automaker and creator of the Prius and the Mira fuel cell vehicle, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands.  Over the past 50 years, we’ve built more than 30 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 42,000 people (more than 33,000 in the U.S.).  Our 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.67 million cars and trucks (more than 2.35 million in the U.S.) in 2014 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today.  

Toyota partners with philanthropic organizations across the country, with a focus on education, safety and the environment. As part of this commitment, we share the company’s extensive know-how garnered from building great cars and trucks to help community organizations and other nonprofits expand their ability to do good.