As a company, we understand that we have a responsibility to do right by the communities in which we live and work. For those of us in our European offices, we have seen firsthand the devastating impact of the global refugee crisis, which is why we have sought out ways to help.
We recently announced a series of efforts we were undertaking to put our values into action. This included the donation of Levi’s® and Dockers® brand clothing to organizations in Europe providing assistance to refugees. By giving high-quality, durable clothing to thousands of refugees this winter, our goal was to provide some warmth to those in most need.
That first donation recently arrived at the Wilmersdorf refugee shelter in Berlin. Roughly 30 volunteers dedicated their time and muscle to help unload the product and sort through clothing — including jeans, tops, shoes, underwear and accessories — at the shelter. As Holger Michel, a coordinator for the volunteer effort, told the Berliner Morgenpost, “We are simply overwhelmed. It is probably the largest donation ever received.”
The donation was facilitated by Good360, a nonprofit organization that connects companies who have goods with nonprofits in need, and their German partner Innatura, a nonprofit logistics organization headquartered in Cologne. “Every year, goods worth 7 billion euros are disposed of in Germany,” said Juliane Kronen, Innatura’s director. “Often there are surplus goods which cannot be sold, or articles with small stains such as false packaging. We have set ourselves the task of acquiring new-value donations from manufacturers and distributors, and distributing them wherever they are needed.”
In addition to our product donation, Levi Strauss & Co. is also awarding the International Rescue Committee (IRC) a grant of 50,000 GBP to support their work in providing critical services and aid to refugees struggling to rebuild their lives in Turkey, which currently hosts the largest refugee population in the world. The grant helps the IRC provide protection and education for women and children, some of the most vulnerable people affected by the crisis.
The company is also encouraging employees to take action. Any personal contributions to IRC will be matched, dollar for dollar, by the Levi Strauss Foundation, and LS&Co. will also host a day of service in three European cities so employees can volunteer with local organizations supporting refugee communities.
LS&Co. is proud to partner with people like Holger Michel and the many volunteers who run the Wilmersdorf refugee shelter in Berlin to meet the critical needs of refugees in crisis. “It is nice to see that the willingness to help in Berlin continues to be so high,” said Michel.