Employee Community Involvement
In the spirit of our founder Levi Strauss, our employees have been giving back to our communities for more than 150 years — by mobilizing volunteer teams that work year round to support charitable organizations, by rushing to help when disaster strikes and by supporting special events to raise awareness and funding for important causes.
We encourage employees and executives to support charitable organizations with their time, talent and money. To that end, we offer full-time employees up to five hours per month (60 hours per year) paid time off to volunteer at a charitable organization of their choice. In the United States, the Levi Strauss Foundation matches employee and retiree contributions to qualifying organizations. The Foundation also provides grants to nonprofit organizations where employees volunteer or serve on boards.
Worldwide, our employees have formed scores of Community Involvement Teams (CITs), which bring our company values to life in remarkable ways. These company-sponsored groups partner with local charitable organizations to identify needs, plan activities, and create volunteer and donation opportunities. CITs on six continents are implementing innovative solutions to a number of pressing causes including HIV/AIDS, environmental sustainability, breast cancer, elder care and homelessness.
Our global involvement culminates yearly on Community Day in May, when employees around the world take a day away from work to volunteer with local nonprofit organizations. In May 2009, with paint brushes and trash bags in hand, employees participated in 143 projects in 38 countries, including first-time projects in Moscow and Cairo. As part of our Community Day activities, we distributed grants to our partner organizations totaling more than $300,000. Recognizing that times were especially tough last year, the Levi Strauss Foundation increased grant amounts to organizations in San Francisco focused on providing basic services such as food, shelter and clothing.
As a company, we have a long history of supporting communities that have fallen victim to natural disasters. We made a financial contribution to the city of Chicago to assist in rebuilding after the great fire of 1871. And after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, we extended credit to local businesses and kept employees on the payroll — even while the company headquarters and factories lay in ruins.
We typically respond to disasters that occur around the world in communities where we have a business presence and where our products are manufactured. Disaster relief is supported through Levi Strauss Foundation grants, employee volunteerism and matching donations made by Levi Strauss & Co. employees to disaster relief organizations.
Over the last year, the Levi Strauss Foundation and Levi Strauss & Co. employees responded quickly to natural disasters with relief grant-making and fundraising efforts to help affected areas: