My parents and grandparents taught me that “giving back” is not an obligation, it’s a privilege. Memories of my childhood are a blur of visits to homes for old people, volunteering at charity Christmas card stores and hours at home with my sisters being cared for by babysitters while our parents were at one charity function or another. It did not feel like a privilege to me. As a teen and a young adult, I found that much of my social life began to revolve around people who cared for their community and slowly “giving back” became part of who I am. By the time I was in a position to start my first business in my 20’s, almost without realizing it, I was allocating quite a lot of company time and resources to supporting various non-profit endeavors. It never felt like an obligation, but I would not describe it as a privilege either.
When my wife and I were blessed with two daughters, we continued the tradition, and at some point, my parents’ words became my words. One day, when my oldest daughter persuaded me to join her on an Operation Smile mission to Morocco, it hit me: “We get far more back than we could ever give. That’s what my parents meant. It truly is a privilege to be in a position to give.”
From the outset at Leesa, I was determined that we would build a company with purpose. Our mission was, and remains, “a better place to sleep – for everybody.”
We had no idea how successful Leesa would be at that time, but we knew that we would always measure our success in three ways:
- Our customer satisfaction
- Our bottom line, and
- Our impact on our community
In order to instill this value in the very fabric of our company, we committed to giving 1 mattress to a shelter for every 10 we sell. We call this our Leesa One-Ten Program.
It’s been 25 years since I started my first business. I’ve had some great successes and a few not-so-successful experiences along the way. Leesa is by far the fasted growing and most successful business I’ve ever been involved in. My co-founders are a remarkable group. Most of us have worked together in other businesses for a long time. They, and the entire talented Leesa staff, share the same values.
Through all the craziness, I think my best day so far was the first day we made a major gift to a homeless shelter. It was a humbling experience for everyone. We witnessed the incredible work of the volunteers who help the most needy people in our community. The entire Leesa team attended a small event and helped deliver 325 mattresses to a new shelter. Almost before my eyes, I saw the impact it was having on our team. There were smiles and tears as we realized that Leesa really could make a difference. The gratitude we were afforded was embarrassing. I told the heroes we met who were running the shelter (some of whom had sought refuge in the very same shelter when they were younger) that our gift was easy. We simply reserve a portion of the revenue from every mattress sold to fund this program. I heard myself saying, “We feel humbled and privileged to be able to give back in this way. Looking around at my team, its clear that we are receiving way more than we could ever give.”
As long as our customers continue to choose Leesa, we will be donating mattresses. It is gratifying to hear so many of our customers say they love their Leesa mattress. You’ll find comments like this all over our reviews. They make it all worthwhile:
“…I’m so glad I ignored my skepticism about a bed in a box. Knowing that your incredible warranty was there to protect me and also loving your company’s practice of providing beds to the homeless was enough to get me to take a leap of faith. And I haven’t fallen yet 🙂
By the end of 2015, through our Leesa One-Ten Program, we will have donated thousands of mattresses to shelters. We will have made significant donations to Make-a-Wish, The Navy Seal Foundation and hopefully many more. We are also working on a carbon-offset program to enhance our sustainability commitment.
The words of my parents must have made a difference. I’m proud to say that the privilege of giving back at Leesa will be in the hands of my own daughter, Sophie Wolfe, who recently joined to manage our social impact program.
Finally, a message to the thousands of people who have trusted Leesa with their sleep needs and purchased one of our mattresses: when you rest your head on your pillow tonight, you can sleep a little better knowing that someone somewhere will also be “sleeping in a better place” because you chose to purchase a Leesa mattress.
Have a great day and an even better night,
David Wolfe, Chief Executive Officer
For more information about the Leesa One-Ten Program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org