Levi Strauss & Co. has been a leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS for more than 30 years, even when it was a taboo topic back in the early 1980s. Yesterday was no different when more than 100 employees took to the streets of San Francisco to march in the 27th annual AIDS Walk San Francisco, of which LS&Co. was also a major sponsor. For one day each year, AIDS Walk San Francisco creates a community of unity and hope, committed to one goal—that our efforts will help end this terrible epidemic for this generation, and all generations to come.
Leading up to the event, the LS&Co. AIDS Action Group Community Involvement Team (CIT) hosted several events to raise awareness and money for the cause. In the end, nearly $20,000 was raised by the CIT and participating LS&Co. walkers. Our employees joined the thousands of others who gathered in Golden Gate Park in a powerful outpouring of support for the walk and its new lead beneficiary, Project Inform—a long time non-profit partner of the AIDS Action Group CIT.
“Walking and raising funds for the San Francisco AIDS Walk is one of my favorite events every summer,” said LS&Co. employee Christine Wong. “I first started walking in 1999 and have joined the walks on and off in years since. It feels good to raise funds for a great organization such as Project Inform and to enjoy a nice walk in Golden Gate Park with the purpose of ending AIDS.”
This year’s event also benefited a coalition of 43 Bay Area AIDS organizations. The benefiting groups provide direct support for people living with HIV/AIDS; vital HIV prevention services; and critical advocacy efforts to end the epidemic. Yesterday’s Opening Ceremony program was dedicated to the memory of the AIDS researchers and activists who were among the victims aboard downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 en route to the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne.
In total, around 20,000 supporters joined the walk, helping to raise more than $2.3 million for the Bay Area’s fight against AIDS. Since 1987, AIDS Walk San Francisco has raised more than $84 million for life-changing HIV/AIDS services, prevention, and advocacy efforts in the Bay Area and beyond, and has grown into the largest AIDS fundraising event in Northern California.