Last year, taking a page from the Ice Bucket Challenge’s pass-it-forward playbook, LS&Co. district manager Kristen Tupa set out to create a challenge that would inspire retail employees during the back-to-school season. The Fill a Backpack Challenge aimed to help kids in the community start the school year with a full set of needed supplies.
This year, store manager Jorge Zambrano from Orlando, Florida, took the effort to the next level by championing the #501BackpackChallenge. The goal was to donate … you guessed it … 501 backpacks filled with supplies. The store teams came through in a major way, donating 756 backpacks within the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
“One of the reasons I’m so passionate about Levi Strauss & Co. is that as an organization we truly live our core values,” Jorge said. “Giving back to the communities that we do business in is just a small way that we can continue the legacy of our founder, Levi Strauss.”
In addition to the challenge, store teams were invited to post a photo of their backpacks on the organization’s internal social network and the three store teams whose photos received the most likes each received a $500 grant to give to the nonprofit of their choosing. The three nonprofits selected were The Ennis Center for Children, High Hopes 4 Autism, and Hemmerling Elementary School.
“Giving back to the communities we serve is such a critical part of our heritage, and I’m so proud of our retail teams for making this a priority,” said Sue Ceccarelli, VP, North America Retail Stores & Operations. “Special thank you to Jorge, Samantha and Teresa for driving this effort and helping us to exceed our goal!”
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