During my years as a human resources practitioner, I wore business suits. Which wasn’t fun in the heat of summer. It was also very depressing when I worked in resort hotels and had to walk by the pool all day. And business attire was uncomfortable when I worked for an airline and couldn’t dress comfortably on the plane in case someone found out I worked for the company.
As a result, I was always looking for a way to give myself (and all the employees) a reason to break the dress code. I found one with Lee National Denim Day.
Since 1996, Lee National Denim Day has raised more than $89 million for the fight against breast cancer. Getting involved is simple – donate $5 and wear jeans to work. Who wouldn’t like that?
The event was started by a group of Lee Jeans employees who realized each of them, in one form or another, had been touched by breast cancer. Today about 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. It’s the second most commonly diagnosed cancer (after skin cancer).
This year’s event is being held on Friday, October 4, 2013. There’s plenty of time to register as a participating company. Once you register, Lee will send you a welcome kit with resources to promote the event. Companies I’ve worked for have turned Denim Day into an opportunity to not only do something important for the community but for employees. Some of the things we’ve done included:
- Giving a free lunch to each employee who donated and participated in Denim Day.
- Decorating the employee break area with jeans and then raffling off the jeans to those who participated.
- Matching donations up to a certain amount.
Our marketing department was totally behind the effort as well. They would let customers know we were supporting Denim Day – so customers knew why the employees were in jeans. You know what happened? Customers started donating money to the cause. In fact, one year our marketing department did a combo fundraiser and appreciation golf outing for customers. It was a huge success!
Denim Day spilled over to my volunteer life as well. My local SHRM organizations would create a Denim Day event as part of their October meeting.
If you’re looking for a way to create a little fun, give to a worthwhile cause, and not expend a ton of energy planning, consider bringing Lee National Denim Day to your organization.
In fact, let me entice you a bit more. The awesome people at Lee have offered to give a pair of jeans to one lucky HR Bartender reader. All you have to do is leave a comment below.
If you don’t wear jeans, you can pick out something else. Lee sent me a new pair of their khaki capris…and they are fashionable and comfortable. Guys, you aren’t being left out. This isn’t a ladies only contest – if you want a new pair of jeans, leave your comment. We’ll pick the winner a week from today.1