Oct 13 2010
Sam and Mary have lived in Braddock, Penn., for years. Right now, they live with Princess, their dachshund, in the same house that Mary’s grandmother called home decades ago.
Sam and Mary are now both in their mid-60s. Sam works from 6 p.m. to midnight most nights. And without his help, Mary has a hard time getting around, especially moving up and down the stairs in their house to let Princess out to do her business.
Without a fenced-in yard, Princess can’t go outside unless Sam is there to watch her.
Sam and Mary needed a little help.
That’s where we came in…nearly 200 Levi’s® employees attending a store managers’ conference last week in Pittsburgh spent the day helping out in nearby Braddock
While my group went to work at Sam and Mary’s house, some of my colleagues pitched in at the Braddock Carnegie Library, Braddock Farms and a few other places needing some extra hands.
At Sam and Mary’s, eight of us started by clearing away years of growth. Three others built a wood fence in the backyard, and the rest prepped the front porch for a new coat of paint.
After we cleaned up the yard, we put up a new wire fence. It wasn’t fancy or particularly pretty, but it would do the job.
“We’re not ‘Extreme Makeover - Home Edition,’ and we take some pride in that,” said one of the local volunteers who led our group.
“We’re trying to build communities here, not dream houses,” said another.
After it was all done, Princess came out to test the new fence. And Sam put his stamp of approval on our work. Rain meant painting the porch would have to wait for another day, but everything else was complete.
As we walked away, Sam and Mary McDonald waved ‘good-bye’ and thanked us for our hard work.
We then joined other local residents for barbecue and beers at the community center. As children ran around, the mayor welcomed us to his city, shook hands and invited us to his home for hot chocolate and cookies.
I won’t pretend that a few hours of volunteer work will make everything better for the folks in Braddock.
But a good day’s effort did make a difference to Sam, Mary and Princess. Because of that, I’m glad we were able to offer a little help.
Posted By: Kevin Maas, Levi's® Store Manager, Denver, Colo.
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