Levi Strauss & Co. announced its first annual grant in support of causes important to the company founder. Company celebrates 185th birthday of blue jean inventor by continuing his philanthropic legacy.
One of the earliest corporate philanthropists in the Bay Area, Levi Strauss had an innovative approach to business for the time. He didn’t just make a profit — he did it with principles.
This “profits through principles” philosophy is still deeply woven into the fabric of the company. The grant LS&Co. is announcing honors Levi Strauss’ legacy and his first known charitable donation of $5 in 1854 to the San Francisco Orphan Asylum — now named Edgewood Center for Children and Families (Edgewood). In tribute to this original donation and Levi Strauss’ commitment to giving back to the community, LS&Co. is continuing its support of Edgewood with a $15,000 grant.
Strauss, one of the Bay Area’s early entrepreneurs, and his business partner, Jacob Davis, invented an item of clothing that for more than a century has been indispensable to people from all walks of life around the world.
His vision was to provide consumers with a durable and high-quality product while also making an enduring impact on San Francisco and the Bay Area. Little did he know that more than 160 years later, the company he founded would still be carrying out his values, contributing more than $100 million since then to the Bay Area.
“Levi Strauss was one of San Francisco’s early visionaries,” said Lynn Downey, Historian for Levi Strauss & Co. “He not only looked out for his business, and made it successful, he used his success to better his community, and supported organizations that did the same. Edgewood was a great example of an equally visionary organization that filled a critical need in the community, and still does today.”
Just as LS&Co. has stayed relevant for more than 160 years, Edgewood has also evolved to meet the needs of the community, which is one reason why it remains the oldest children’s charity in the Western United States and now transforms the lives and restores hope to 7,000 youth and families in the San Francisco Bay Area each year.