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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Denim in December

The company I work with does many things to promote good culture, some more successful than others, and all of them appreciated because it's important to try even when we don't succeed. One thing that I find particularly rewarding is Denim in December. The company adopts a couple of families in need of a little help, and the peeps pay a dollar a day to be able to wear jeans through December. (Usually, jeans only fly on Fridays.) The money goes to the families.

Here's the collection jar so far.

There's more in there than you might think. When the email went out announcing Denim in December, I responded to announce a challenge to our CEO. I challenged him to wear jeans one full business day, and if he did that, I would add an additional $100 to the jar. Bear in mind that he does not own a pair of jeans. 

Management was holding a meeting at the time, and one of the VPs read my email aloud to the rest and announced that he would match the $100. There was laughter. Another matched. And then two more. The ball was rolling. My $100 became some $400 in a matter of moments.

Perhaps there's another career waiting for me in fund raising.

The question remains as to whether or not TheMan will wear the jeans. It doesn't matter much in the sense of giving. All the money is already in the jar. If he doesn't, he will miss a big opportunity with the peeps, but that's neither here nor there.

The important thing is the money and what that money will do. I am acutely aware of what it's like to face American Christmas with children in the house and little money in the bank. I also know what it's like having an unexpected angel drop cash on my lap in December. Of course, we all know our several hundred dollars split in twain will not correct the societal ills that put us here, not even with the pile of gifts that's mounting in the background as the peeps address line items on the two wish lists. These problems run deep, and they're far bigger than most of us.

However, in about a fortnight at those two houses, we do know that children and parents will gather on a Sunday morning, and instead of downward eyes, choked apologies, and all the rest that comes with a hard candy Christmas, there will be a few more smiles, perhaps a little more laughter, and for at least a short while, we'll all hold the thought that the editor's response to Virginia was correct.

Folks, it's all on the wheel.

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