Yesterday, 4,000 Levi Strauss & Co. employees spent time away from the office on our annual day of service, Community Day. They volunteered at more than 150 community projects in 46 countries around the world. One of those projects has a very special place in the history of LS&Co.
Back in 1854, Levi Strauss donated some of his first profits to San Francisco Orphan Asylum, now known as Edgewood Center for Children and Families, starting the company’s legacy of giving back and forging a relationship with a community partner that still exists 160 years later. Today, Edgewood still has a mission of touching the lives of 7,000 children and families in need throughout the Bay Area.
Each year thousands of children, youth, and families come to Edgewood because they have experienced trauma such as inconsistent parenting or neglect, neighborhood violence, multiple foster care placements, or abuse. Traumatic experiences can lead to learning disabilities, mental illness and debilitating behavioral issues. With treatment, children and families can recover and transform their lives.
Employees brought smiles to faces of the children by constructing “pop-up” shops inside two cottages on the Edgewood campus. Approximately 65 kids between the ages of 6 – 17 shopped for jeans, T-shirts, hats, and backpacks, all of which were donated by LS&Co. In addition, the Community Day project also helped raise awareness for today’s National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day.
National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day seeks to increase visibility about the importance of children’s mental health and emphasize the importance positive mental health has on a child’s healthy development from birth. The entire month of May is Mental Health Awareness month.
Yesterday’s pop-up shop was filled with smiles, laughter and fun and to top it all off, the day ended with a spirited kickball game between the kids and LS&Co. volunteers!
More than a century later, LS&Co. continues to support Edgewood in a variety of ways including grants, sustainable denim insulation and an irrigation system for the Edgewood Garden Learning Center, matching employee gifts, and organizing Community Day projects over the years.