Montreal, Canada-based supplier Gildan Activewear, Inc. (UPIC: Gilda GILDA381) presented one of the largest industry charitable donations last week during The PPAI Expo 2011. The recipient was Homeboy Industries, which helps approximately 12,000 clients annually – 8,000 former gang members from more than 800 gangs as well as 4,000 gang-affiliated family and community members – through free programs and services for at-risk, recently released and formerly gang involved youth in Los Angeles. These services include counseling, education, tattoo removal, substance abuse/addiction assistance, job training, placement and legal services.
The donation was the first for Gildan’s “I Support…” campaign. Launched in 2010, this program was designed to support charities and increase awareness about the importance of charitable donations and volunteerism throughout the apparel and promotional products industry. Industry, business partners and customers, were asked to register a charity on www.genuinegildan.com and visitors were given the opportunity to vote for the stories they felt best demonstrated making a positive difference. When voting was completed, nearly 3,000 stories were registered to the website, generating 100,000 votes. From a Top 10 of charities qualified, Homeboy Industries was selected by a panel of judges that included a variety of industry professionals and representatives from such organizations as DoSomething.org and Network for Good.
“We are pleased to be able to present this donation to an organization that has been making a significant impact on the lives of young people in Los Angeles for more than 20 years,” Mike Hoffman, President of Gildan Activewear SRL, told a crowd gathered at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. “Our hope is that this money will help Fr. Greg and Homeboy to continue their work developing programs and services that can change lives.”
Gildan is a leading supplier of activewear for screenprinters in the U.S. and Canada. The company is also a role model for corporate citizenship, In 2010, the company set up and donated more than $570,000 to the Gildan Haiti Relief and Reconstruction Fund, which financed the provision of supplies to Gildan employees, their families and contractors’ employees in Haiti, as well as the building inspections by third-party organizations in order to allow contractors to restart production.
“We are pleased to have been included among such an illustrious group of organizations, and honored that Homeboy was chosen as this year’s recipient,” said Fr. Greg Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries, in a news release. “It’s gratifying to see companies like Gildan make a real commitment to improving lives in our community and the world. We applaud their efforts.”
Gildan’s Garry Bell and Mike Hoffman (third and fourth from left) present a check for $100,000 to representatives from Homeboy Industries.