Levi Strauss Foundation Doubles Community Day Cash Grants in Recognition of Tough Times
SAN FRANCISCO, April 30, 2009 — On May 1, “501 Day,” more than 800 Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&CO.) employees in San Francisco will step away from their computers and workstations to spread out across the city and spend the day providing volunteer work at 27 local nonprofit organizations. Employees will be busy with a variety of labor-intensive activities, including painting, cleaning, gardening and other much-needed tasks to help local organizations that focus on health issues; the homeless; HIV/AIDS; the Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender community; youth and schools; and the environment.
As part of the annual “Community Day” event, each San Francisco nonprofit organization where Levi Strauss & Co. employees volunteer will also receive a cash grant to help further their important work. This year, the Levi Strauss Foundation will more than double the amount awarded locally in recognition of the financial challenges facing many nonprofit organizations. Cash grants to be awarded in San Francisco on May 1 will total $168,000, and the foundation will give more than $200,000 across the United States.
“Tough economic times underscore the importance of our efforts to address the needs of underserved people here in our hometown,” said John Anderson, president and CEO of Levi Strauss & Co. “This is Levi Strauss & Co.’s heritage. We’ve been deeply involved in supporting the community for more than 156 years.”
501 Day is part of an annual global Community Day program that LS&CO. launched in 2000. Thousands of employees around the world will volunteer throughout the month of May and the Levi Strauss Foundation will give more than $300,000 in grants globally in places where LS&CO. has a business presence. Cash grants donated on Community Day since its inception nine years ago now total more than $1.64 million.
“During difficult times, it is more important than ever for grant makers to step up and help address the impact of the economic crisis on people in need,” added Daniel Lee, Executive Director, the Levi Strauss Foundation. “Recognizing that community organizations are struggling to serve their constituents, the Levi Strauss Foundation has significantly increased its Community Day grants to the highest level since we started this program nine years ago. We are giving grants to local organizations that provide assistance to those who have the greatest needs, including families who struggle every day with poverty.”
Collecting “Gently Worn Jeans” at Levi’s® Stores
For the second year in a row, Levi Strauss & Co. is proud to support Goodwill International as part of its 501 Day activities. Starting May 1 and running through May 10, Levi’s® stores around the country are collecting used denim, offering consumers 25 percent off their next pair of jeans when they donate a pair of gently worn jeans from any brand to Goodwill at Levi’s® stores. Jeans are the top-selling product in Goodwill retail stores, the proceeds from which are used to fund job-training programs for people in need.
Additionally, at the Levi’s® Flagship store in Union Square in San Francisco, Levi’s® retail employees are participating in a job-shadowing exercise with Goodwill trainees, providing them opportunities to work one-on-one with Levi’s® retail employees in a fast-paced, for-profit retail operation.
About Levi Strauss & Co.
Levi Strauss & Co. is one of the world’s largest branded apparel companies and the global leader in jeanswear, marketing its products in more than 110 countries worldwide. The company designs and markets jeans, casual wear and related accessories for men, women and children under the Levi’s®, Dockers® San Francisco and Signature by Levi Strauss & Co.™ brands. For more information, go to http://levistrauss.com.
Community Volunteerism at Levi Strauss & Co.
Employee community involvement is an important part of Levi Strauss & Co.’s culture and history. Levi Strauss was a businessman and philanthropist who was deeply involved in his community. His work and commitment have been carried forward by Levi Strauss & Co. and the Levi Strauss Foundation for more than 156 years. Through matching-gift programs, company-supported group and individual volunteering programs, paid time off to volunteer and other initiatives, the company and the Levi Strauss Foundation offer employees and retirees a variety of ways to make a difference in their local communities.
Employees in 43 countries will take a day away from work in the month of May to assist local community organizations and the company’s foundation will recognize the efforts with cash grants. In 2008, employees in 43 countries volunteered on 167 projects and the foundation made nearly $300,000 in grants to recognize employees’ donations of time and talent. This year, the Foundation estimates it will make $7.5 million in grants, globally.