Leon Levine opened the first Family Dollar Store on Central Ave in 1959. It didn’t take long for the retail chain to become a household name – first in the Southeast, and then nationwide. With its array of goods and famously low prices, Family Dollar is a shopping hub for Americans with limited disposable income. In those early days, Leon realized his customers often lived on the margins and struggled to make ends meet. He understood that a small price tag could create big savings for individuals and families looking to stretch their hard-earned dollars. He knew these customers worked hard, wanted to succeed, and desired a stable and healthy home with a strong education for their kids. Today, guided by the Jewish values of tzedakah and caring for those in need that were instilled by his parents, Leon Levine continues to think about those Family Dollar customers. It is his hope that the Foundation’s investments lead to greater economic mobility for all.
Established in 1980, The Leon Levine Foundation supports programs and organizations that improve the human condition through investments in education, healthcare, human services and Jewish values. Based in Charlotte, N.C., the Foundation invests in nonprofits across North Carolina and South Carolina with strong leadership, a track record of success, and a plan for financial sustainability. Through its investments, the Foundation intends to create pathways to self-sufficiency, champion strategies for permanent change, and facilitate opportunities for growth.