Jun 20 2011
My first thought when I heard about the wildfire now burning in Eastern Arizona was how much I wanted to help fight the blaze. Fighting a huge wildfire like the Wallow fire used to be my “day job.” Now, I work in the legal department at Levi Strauss & Co., but I still feel a strong connection to those firefighters on the front lines.
That connection is why I was heartened to hear that my company is donating 200 pairs of Levi’s® jeans and Dockers® pants to firefighters as part of a larger product donation to wildfire victims.
Levi Strauss & Co. usually provides disaster relief in the form of cash donations, not clothing, due to logistical challenges and needs on the ground. In this case, though, we just happened to have clothing nearby and the need for clothing is great.
When firefighters are dispatched, they carry one personal bag with them. This “red bag” contains a couple pairs of Nomex firefighting pants and shirts, and a few T-shirts. The Wallow Fire is in its third week now, and the firefighters camping near the fire line have worn the same few pants over-and-over.
When I fought forest fires and slept in a tent for up to a month at a time, I remember my clothes smelled of smoke and sweat. I still have my firefighting bag, and without opening it, I know how it smells, even now – years since my last fire.
I would've loved to have received a pair of Levi’s® jeans or Dockers® pants during my time on a big fire. Having even one extra pair after a long, hard day makes an incredible difference mentally and provides a great sense of normalcy.
Levi Strauss & Co. wanted to recognize the firefighters on the ground and also provide relief to the families affected by this wildfire. The company donated more than 5,000 pairs of Levi’s® jeans and Dockers® pants. We partnered with the Family Resource Center, which is working directly with agencies in Arizona to distribute needed goods.
My heart goes out to the victims of the wildfire. And my support goes to the firefighters. I hope the new, clean pants will provide a little boost to help them continue their important work in Arizona.
Posted By: Eric Mueller, Director, LS&Co. Global Anti-Counterfeiting
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