Casual Friday is common practice in many American offices. Concannon Miller is one of those offices – but its Casual Friday is more than just an excuse to dress down.
Called Jeans Friday, it’s a fundraiser for the firm’s Charity Committee. The Charity Committee was formed by a group of employees in 2008 as a way to give back to local nonprofit organizations.
The $5 donations for wearing jeans really add up. Each month, several hundred dollars are donated to a different nonprofit organization, adding up to several thousand dollars each year.
“Citizenship is one of our seven core principles and our Charity Committee donations demonstrate how our employees care about our communities,” Bethlehem Charity Committee member John Wessner says.
Concannon Miller as a company also supports many local nonprofits, including ArtsQuest in the Lehigh Valley and several Ronald McDonald House Charities. But the Charity Committee allows the organization to give even more – and have all the employees have a say.
“It’s neat our employees genuinely want to help the community as opposed to only helping because the leadership of Concannon Miller says to,” Concannon Miller President and COO Ted Witman says. “Helping the community is part of our core values – we want a firm of people who truly want to serve the community.”
Both offices solicit suggestions from employees where the monthly donations should go. Many employees suggest organizations where they serve on boards or otherwise volunteer.
“Volunteers are who we are,” Bethlehem Charity Committee member Cheri Palmer-Herb says. “And the Charity Committee helps represent the charitable intentions of our employees.”
Though the two offices are more than 1,000 miles apart, both offices employees’ and their charity committees’ visions are very much alike. Both offices prioritize supporting local nonprofit organizations in the Lehigh Valley and Tampa-St. Petersburg communities.
“We always like to make contributions to local organizations right in our community,” says Marci Bycynski, who organizes the donations in St. Petersburg.
In addition to monetary donations, the Charity Committee in Bethlehem organizes the annual employee picnic and also holiday Toys for Tots and Adopt-a-Family efforts. Both offices also organize employee volunteer days.
“In addition to supporting vital organizations in our community, our Charity Committees also provide team building experiences,” Wessner says.
Concannon Miller’s Charity Committee won a Spirit of Volunteerism award from the Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley in 2014. A video about that award can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THTbGxS-dyg
Nonprofits that received Charity Committee donations this year are:
St. Petersburg office:
Breast Cancer Research
The Independence Fund
Humane Society of Pinellas
St. Vincent de Paul
Kristen’s Walk to the Water – Candle in the Darkness
Big Brothers Big Sisters
American Red Cross
Women’s Resources of Monroe County
Fitzmaurice Community Service
Community Services for Children
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Marine Corps League Northampton County Detachment #298
Toys for Tots
Via clothing drive
Hispanic Center Lehigh Valley