In a story highlighting one Apple employee’s charity Saints of Steel, Apple has revealed that Apple employees partnered with the company have donated over $100 million to charity in 2019 alone.
Jaz Limos is a San Francisco native and is a manager at the Apple Park Visitor Center in Cupertino. A chance encounter with her estranged father in 2016 made her consider what she could do to give back to the community that she grew up in.
“I started to become obsessed with, why do people open up in a chair?” Limos says. “When I recognized that there’s so many different piecemeal options for someone to get help, that the entry point has to be just right where you can build rapport a barber was a very organic way to open up and just feel better.”
Limos founded Saints of Steel. The organization is a nonprofit pop-up barber shop and makeover event for people in need looking for employment, housing and a fresh start.
In its first year, the organization was almost fully funded by volunteers and donations from Apple. Roughly 80% of Saints of Steel’s first year of donations came from Apple’s corporate giving platform Benevity, and 74% of that came from Apple itself.
“Our board, when we first started, was primarily made up of Apple employees who just jumped in and rolled up their sleeves,” Limos says. “We saw the power of Benevity and the company match program, because it funded the majority of our ability to run this program.”
Apple says that overall, roughly 21,000 employees volunteered their time and donated $42 million to causes they care about. When combined with the company’s 1-for-1 donation match and $25 match per volunteer hour, Apple donated over $100 million to causes throughout the year.
“We have a mission here at Apple to change the world for the better, and give back to the communities in which we live and work,” says Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. “Apple employees like Jaz embody this culture of giving every day, volunteering over a quarter of a million hours last year. We share a deep commitment to our local communities and doing what we can to cause more good.”
Saints of Steel currently has volunteers across the US in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Las Vegas and New York, with 11 other cities raising their hands to join the organization. With the model proven over the last three years, Limos returned to Apple after another chance encounter, this time with a former manager who wanted her to come back in a new role.
“I hope, now that I’m back at Apple and I have my hand in one of each,” Limos says, “that people know that it’s completely possible to make a contribution or to help, or to make a change, and have a full time job.”