Toyota Shifts Focus to Support Detroit’s West Side by Donating Winter Boots and Socks to Detroit’s Grandale Neighborhood

Transforming Lives… One Step at a Time at The Salvation Army Detroit Grandale Corps Community Center

Seeking to provide support to various Detroit neighborhoods in need, Toyota Motor North America stepped in for the 12the year in a row to support a local Detroit community through their “Walk In My Boots” community project. On Saturday, January 14, 2023, more than 150 family members in the Salvation Army (TSA) Detroit Grandale Corps Community Center neighborhood on Detroit’s west side received new insulated winter boots and socks to help protect the cold families.

Winter can often be the most difficult time of the year for many low-income families. With snow and freezing rain, nothing gets cold faster than wet feet. People may be at risk of severe hypothermia and the consequences can be fatal. While some programs offer giveaways of winter coats, hats and gloves, a person’s feet are often exposed when many families take the bus or walk in the colder weather.

“Sometimes it’s hard to imagine going without them, like not having a quality pair of boots on a cold day,” said Maj. Bob Mueller, Salvation Army Metro Detroit Metro Detroit Commander. “This year’s ‘Walk in My Boots’ event was close to my heart because I grew up in the Grandale neighborhood of Detroit and know firsthand the needs of this community. Sturdy boots and warm socks are life-changing in frigid Michigan winters. Fortunately, 150 of our community members are better equipped to weather the storm thanks to the generosity of our partners at Toyota Motor North America.”

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It was a great afternoon when Toyota brought a ray of sunshine and warmth to the families. A family member said: “I am very grateful to Toyota for giving my family these boots. My kids don’t have to walk to school in the cold without boots, and my feet will be warm too.”

With this project, in Detroit alone, Toyota has donated more than 2,200 pairs of boots and socks to local families and has contributed more than $160,000 to The Salvation Army’s Great Lakes Division. Sharing resources throughout the greater Detroit area, boots and socks have been delivered to families in need on the east side of Detroit at The Salvation Army Conner Creek Corps Community Center, in downtown Detroit at the TSA Booth Services Shelter facility, Head Start and Harbor Light and at the former TSA Denby Center for Children and Family Services on the northwest side of Detroit. The project has also been carried out in Chicago; Washington DC; baltimore; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Minneapolis, Minn.

“Many people know Toyota as an automobile company, but we are so much more than that,” said Bill Shelmon, executive project manager, Research and Development Advanced Product Planning Office, Toyota Motor North America. “We are passionate about serving the communities where we live and work. With so many people in need due to the recent pandemic crises and economic downturn, it’s one of the main reasons Toyota continues to do everything possible to ensure Detroiters get the help they need.”

The Salvation Army Detroit Grandale Corps Community Center provides outreach to the community through social services, such as helping families and individuals pay their utility bills when facing financial crisis, free fresh produce and canned goods through the pantry food service, weekly women’s ministry, and religious services. Efforts are underway to expand services in the spring. Toyota also donated $15,000 to The Salvation Army’s Great Lakes Division, allowing them to continue supporting the communities they serve. A delicious hot lunch was also served to the families.

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Shelmon said, “What better day to bring this project to Detroit families than celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend.” Shelmon mentioned one of Dr. King’s quotes: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is… ‘What are you doing for others?'” hour.”

About Toyota

Toyota (New York Stock Exchange:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in the US for more than 60 years and is committed to advancing next-generation sustainable mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands, as well as our nearly 1,500 dealerships.

Toyota directly employs more than 39,000 people in the US 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 manufacturing automotive batteries for electric vehicles. With more electrified vehicles on the road than any other automaker, a quarter of the company’s US sales in 2022 will be electrified.

To help inspire the next generation for a career in STEM-based fields, including mobility, Toyota launched its virtual education center in ( with an immersive experience and the opportunity to virtually visit many of our US manufacturing facilities. The center also includes a series of free STEM-based lessons and curricula through Toyota USA Foundation partners. , virtual tours and more. For more information about Toyota, visit (

About The Salvation Army

Founded by William and Catherine Booth in London, England in 1865, The Salvation Army is a faith-based, non-profit organization dedicated to serving people in need without discrimination. Last year, The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit was involved in providing 2,446,588 meals and 382,681 nights of shelter for the homeless. The Salvation Army uses $.86 of every dollar raised to provide direct services to people in need every day of the year. For more information about The Salvation Army, call 877-SAL-MICH or visit us at

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