Interns Learn the Importance of Giving Back

Levi Strauss & Co.
July 29, 2014

Because giving back is so integral to LS&Co., it’s only fitting that volunteering would be a component of showing Levi’s® Plaza interns what it’s like to work here.

Earlier this month, the class of 17 college students stepped away from their on-the-job training for a different kind of hands-on experience: Cleaning up AIDS Memorial Grove. The grove is a living national memorial dedicated to providing those who have been directly or indirectly affected by AIDS with a restorative space to find comfort and hope.

While there, the interns heard firsthand accounts from volunteers about their personal struggles with being HIV positive, or of watching a loved one die from the disease. Fighting HIV/AIDS has been a priority of LS&Co.’s for more than 30 years, and John, a volunteer at the grove, shared the story of former CEO Bob Haas passing out flyers about HIV/AIDS in the Atrium when most other companies wouldn’t even acknowledge the disease. John said he was moved by this and the fact that Levi’s® is always at the forefront of social change and awareness.

interns talking

After getting a tour by Jack Porter, whose deceased partner designed the grove, the interns cleaned the Circle of Friends, which is etched with the name of supporters.

The grove does not receive any government money and is run entirely by volunteers. The grove has been a Community Day destination since the day of service began 12 years ago, and the company has supported the grove with more than $400,000 in grants. In addition, some LS&Co. employees give their own time as part of the grove’s Community Volunteer Workdays on the third Saturday of every month.

The volunteers had such wonderful things to say about our company, but truly, the admiration is mutual. The interns shared that they were inspired by the dedication of the volunteers and their heartfelt stories.

By the end of the day, the interns did more than simply get their hands dirty — they learned how volunteering truly never goes out of style.

interns working