Why We Volunteer: Giving Back in Montana

Levi Strauss & Co.
August 28, 2018

Levi Strauss & Co. encourages employees to take five hours a month of paid time to volunteer in their communities. Here’s how one employee, Don Platek, uses that time.

Along the Yellowstone River and just north of Yellowstone National Park lies Livingston, Montana – the kind of locale that offers everything an outdoor enthusiast like Don Platek could ask for.

The original entrance to Yellowstone, Livingston also has a lot of history, with more than 400 buildings on the National Historic Register. “Once we started spending time here, it became a passion,” said Don. “I want to work to preserve this place that I have come to love.”

Don is an IT senior engineer who spends as much time as he can in Livingston. In between his fishing expeditions and fixing up his own historical home, Don has found a way to share his passion for Livingston and its history. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day you can find Don every weekend behind the wheel of an original 1938 Yellowstone Park Bus giving tours through the Livingston Downtown Historic Bus Tours. The non-profit organization uses tour proceeds to support local non-profit museums and charities.

Don puts his volunteer time to use when the bus tour hosts special groups, like the residents of the Caslen Living Centers Assisted Living Center.

“They are always looking for things for the residents to do. And while they aren’t very mobile, this is something that they can do,” Don said. “These were long-time residents of the community, so they ended up telling us about some of the old businesses in town. I’ve been using that information on my tours ever since.”

During his tours, Don likes to make the connection between Livingston and LS&Co., pointing out the “ghost signs” advertising Levi’s® to friends and visitors alike.

Being able to give back to the community he loves is a big part of why Don has stayed with the company for so long.

“I’ve been with LS&Co. for almost 22 years and I’ve never wanted to look for another job,” said Don. “I wear nothing but Levi’s® – my shirts, my pants, my shoes. It’s a great company and any time I can promote it, I do.”