WASHINGTON, Jan. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- If you are poor, you are essentially an illness, an accident, or a paycheck away from living on the streets. On Saturday, January 17, 2015, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, through its "Toyota Walk In My Boots" community outreach project, stepped in to help area homeless women and children and local community residents in need by providing new all-weather boots and socks to the residents of The Salvation Army Turning Point Center for Women and Children, as well as, select participants at The Salvation Army Sherman Avenue Corps. The waterproof boots are perfect for any season from fall to spring and are designed to keep feet dry. Often low-income families do not have adequate clothing to fight the elements of a cold winter. While many programs offer winter coat giveaways, a person's feet are often left vulnerable to cold temperatures. The project offers comfort in a time of need as recent temperatures have fluctuated from cold snowy days to wet rainy days. Toyota also gave a $15,000 donation to The Salvation Army National Capital Area Command enabling them to continue to provide refuge for children and families in times of crisis.
The Salvation Army Turning Point Center for Women and Children is a two-year transitional housing program that gives 26 families – women and their children -- a safe haven to learn how to live independently. The Salvation Army Sherman Avenue Corps is a community center serving the most critical needs of the surrounding neighborhood. "We are so grateful to Toyota for both the monetary donation to the National Capital Area Command, and the footwear donation to the Turning Point and Sherman Avenue Corps residents specifically, which is especially helpful during these unpredictable winter months," said Major Lewis Reckline, area commander, The Salvation Army National Capital Area Command. "With the need greater than ever because of the increase in poverty and homelessness, 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."
An estimated 7,748 residents are homeless on any given night in Washington, D.C., according to the annual homeless census of 2014. More than a quarter of all homeless people in the nation's capital are children, and half are people in families. A number of factors are driving the increase in D.C.'s homelessness, including a lack of affordable housing and stagnating wages. Poverty rates remain high in some areas where one-in-three residents lived below the poverty line in 2014.
"At Toyota, we want to build more than just great cars and trucks," said Michael Rouse, vice president, Diversity, Philanthropy and Community Affairs, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. "We want to help build great places to live. We want the work that is being done at The Salvation Army Turning Point and Sherman Avenue Corps to continue for years to come. We hope also that our donation of all-weather boots and socks will help to enrich lives…one step at a time."
One TSA Sherman Avenue Corps participant commented that she was excited and blessed to receive the new boots and warm socks because she really could not afford to buy her kids boots this year. She said it was hard enough just trying to make ends meet and pay the household bills.
Toyota also treated residents to a buffet luncheon. Residents expressed their gratitude to receive a "down-home" cooked meal for their family.
Toyota (NYSE: TM), the world's top automaker and creator of the Prius, 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 25 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 40,000 people (more than 32,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.6 million cars and trucks (more than 2.37 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. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.
About The Salvation Army Turning Point for Women and Children
The Salvation Army Turning Point is a two-year transitional housing program that gives 26 families a safe haven to learn how to live independently. Case management and counseling services help keep them on course, but intensive classes—in budgeting, parenting, and housekeeping, as well as building healthy relationships and preparing for jobs—help them move ahead. Staff members work with the mothers to help them stay in school, or employed, and to make decisions about their future; and the mothers build a group support system as their families move together through the program.
About The Salvation Army Sherman Avenue Corps
The Salvation Army Sherman Avenue Corps Community Center is a facility serving the most critical needs of the community. The Corps served almost 3,300 free meals to people living in poverty last year. From hot, nutritious lunches offered three times a week to food baskets and monthly donations from the pantry, no one in the neighborhood goes hungry. In addition to meeting physical needs, the Corps also offers other opportunities for nourishment. Families find fellowship in the worship services every Sunday, while kids build friendships and life skills through youth programs and after-school clubs. And when school is out during the summer, the Corps opens the doors of its gym, providing a healthy alternative to everyone in the neighborhood.