FROM THE WILL JOURNAL


Introducing… Give WILL

When Will was 15, he decided to take a drama course at his high school in Detroit. The first assignment called for each student to select a scene from a play, and deliver it, monologue-style, in front of the class.

Will selected a scene from Arthur Miller’s seminal play, “Death of a Salesman.” It was a pivotal moment in the first act; the part where traveling salesman Willy Loman begs his boss to take him off the road, so that he can spend more time with his family. He would rather take a desk job and crunch numbers than be away from his wife and sons any longer. But when Willy’s boss turns down his request, Willy lets loose.

Will delivered the lines slowly and confidently, and by the time his monologue was over, his classmates were on their feet, applauding. In that moment, at age 15 in Detroit, Will took it all in and thought, “This is what I want to do: I want to be an actor.”

WILL - acting

If you’ve followed the Will story over the years, you’ll know that he did become an actor, moving to LA in the 70s and appearing in a number of television shows, films and commercials. Along the way, he was mentored by a number of individuals, working with actors like Christopher Walken and Frank Langella, and taken under the wing of famed casting directors Mike Fenton and Jane Feinberg. They all helped Will succeed in realizing his dream.

This is the impetus behind “Give WILL.”

Our charitable initiative supports students in underfunded public elementary schools across America through in-kind donations and mentorship. With every Will Leather Goods purchase (both in-store and online), we make a donation of backpacks to children attending public school in the United States. Will has set a goal of donating 100,000 backpacks over the next five years.

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But it’s about more than just a free backpack. On the back of each bag is a space for the students to write down their name and their dream. In order for them to receive their backpack, Will has asked them to share their dream – a constant reminder for the kids to keep working toward their goals. We’ll do our part as well, helping to mentor the students in their journey. Maybe it’s a grant to help them start a summer business; maybe it’s arranging for them to take a tour of a big company office; maybe it’s connecting them with their personal hero; we want to show our support!

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As someone who grew up attending public school in Detroit, Will knows first-hand the importance of a good education and a little bit of motivation. It’s what inspired him to dream of being an actor all those years ago. And it’s what inspired him to eventually start his own company.

“Give WILL” is our way of supporting the next generation of leaders in America, to truly equip them with “A Bag to Carry Their Dreams.” Find out more by visiting our store or by contacting us at social@willleathergoods.com.

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