Hundreds of Levi Strauss Employees Volunteer for '501 Day'

Hundreds of Levi Strauss Employees Volunteer for '501 Day'

More than 800 employees of Levi Strauss and Co. are volunteering today at nonprofits in San Francisco as part of a company-sponsored day of service called “501 Day.”

501 Day kicks off a month-long Community Day volunteer program where employees work in their local communities while the Levi Strauss Foundation doles out grants to areas in which the company operates. Levi Strauss estimates more than 1,200 of its employees throughout the U.S. will volunteer this month.

The apparel company's foundation also handed out $168,000 to 27 San Francisco nonprofits working on environmental, homeless, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, HIV/AIDS, youth, and health care issues. The foundation has given out more than $1.64 million during the last nine years since Community Day began.

Levi Strauss employees volunteer on 501 Day 501 Day 2009

The company said it doubled the amount of grant awards it gave nonprofits this year because of the economic recession.

“During difficult times, it is more important than ever for grant makers to step up and help address the impact of the economic crisis on people in need,” Daniel Lee, the Levi Strauss Foundation’s executive director, said in a statement.

In San Francisco, Levi Strauss employees are helping garden, pick up trash, and remove non-native plant species and weeds in Bayview Park, Visitacion Valley, Crissy Field, the San Francisco wetlands and AIDS Memorial Grove.

Another group is cleaning and painting the Koret Family House, a facility for families with children undergoing medical treatment; landscaping and maintenance for The Arc of San Francisco, a home for adults with disabilities; and offering social support in the form of arts and crafts activities at the Janet Pomeroy Center, which serves people with disabilities.

Levi Strauss employees volunteer on 501 Day 501 Day 2009

Meanwhile, workers are providing cleaning, clothing sorting, painting and other assistance to homeless shelters and service providers in San Francisco.

Separately, more Levi Strauss employees are working with a variety of schools, educational and youth support organizations on several projects, ranging from teaching youth interview prep exercises to painting hallways, benches and a teachers’ lounge at a local elementary school.

According to the company, the program grew in part from its many employee Community Involvement Teams (CIT), which work to address important community issues through volunteerism and grant support. Many of this year's grant recipients have existing relationships with Levi Strauss CITs.

Levi Strauss is a founding member of Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy, a coalition of major consumer brands lobbying for strict climate change laws.

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Photos, taken at the San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Center in San Francisco, were provided by Levis Strauss and Co.