Jul 20 2012
There are few safe bets in Las Vegas, but this week, my colleagues and I found one. And it wasn’t on a roulette wheel.
The retail store field leaders from across Canada, Mexico and the U.S. – nearly 200 total – gathered here for our annual Field Leadership Conference aimed at preparing us for the all-important back half of the year.
We saw the great new fall product for both our Levi’s® Mainline and Outlet stores that I know you’ll love, heard from our CEO and other leaders about our company’s future, and learned about some amazing new initiatives coming up for retail stores.
And that safe bet?
We doubled down on making a difference for homeless men, women and youth in Las Vegas, and we definitely came out winners – getting much more out of it than we put in.
We partnered with two great area organizations – St. Therese Center, which serves the local HIV/AIDS community and Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth. And we assembled more than 4,000 hygiene kits – filled with basic items such as a toothbrush, soap and shampoo – that’ll be shared with both those affected by HIV/AIDS and young people living on the streets of Las Vegas. We also took 70 bolts of fabric and made more than 400 blankets for the Nevada Partnership.
The Nevada Partnership representative who spoke with us once lived on the street himself and is now the outreach coordinator for the organization. He told us how the hygiene kits we assembled are used to start a conversation with homeless kids. Better to say, “can you use this stuff?” than, “are you homeless?” Once the conversation is underway, the door is opened to offer more vital services.
I think the people who’ll receive the kits and the blankets will certainly benefit from them, but I know all of us in that hotel conference room this week benefited, too.
Working together to put the kits together was an opportunity for us to engage in some friendly competition and make new friends. But beyond that, it gave us an opportunity to give back to the community – something that is an integral part of Levi Strauss & Co. and has been since the company was founded, more than 150 years ago.
Our work won’t end the challenges facing the people who’ll receive the hygiene kits and blankets. But if it can help them make it through another day – knowing someone, somewhere cares – that’s a good thing.
And come to think of it, our work wasn’t a bet at all. It was an investment in the lives of people who could really use it.
Images: Whitney Dinneweth
Posted By: Amy Hansell, Communications Specialist, Levi Strauss & Co.
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