The Red Tab Foundation (RTF), a nonprofit that assists Levi Strauss & Co.’s (LS&Co.) employees, retirees and their families who face unexpected financial hardship, received three times the number of requests for assistance in 2020 compared to previous years.
The unprecedented events of 2020 such as Covid-19, record unemployment and natural disasters, have upended the livelihoods of many and proven the need for companies to organize a corporate employee relief program. This week, LS&Co. published a report that proved the effectiveness of its foundation.
In the fiscal year 2020, RTF provided over $1.7 million in cash grants to more individuals across more geographic locations than ever before in the history of the foundation. In comparison, RTF provided $1.2 million in assistance in 2019.
With the average grant at $1,200, this support averted 1,442 emergencies and improved the “financial futures” of 541 individuals, according to the report.
Approximately one-quarter of the assistance was granted to cover costs associated with coronavirus hardship. The foundation also provided assistance for emergency home repairs, eldercare needs, income loss, medical emergencies, car repairs and more. Retirees received the majority of the relief, which in large part is funded by donations of LS&Co. employees and shareholders.
And with nearly 40 years of experience, RTF stepped up this year to support the efforts of organizations by offering leadership through a Hardship Fund Playbook, a blueprint for other companies that wanted to introduce their own corporate relief program. To date, the playbook has been downloaded by more than 300 organizations including nonprofits and Fortune 500 companies alike.
RTF is anticipating the heightened demand for support to carry into 2021. The foundation will extend program access in the coming year and has committed to providing help to employees impacted by Covid-related layoffs for up to a year. It will also continue to build on testing “fast track” grants with the median turnaround time of less than one day to prevent the downstream impacts of unexpected hardships.
“There’s no doubt that the ripple effects of this historic time will continue for many years,” the RTF leadership team said in the report. “There is much work left to do, but we are uniquely positioned to help every one of our employees or retirees facing financial hardship.”