By Staff Reports
(Victorville)– If you visit Victorville City Hall on a Thursday, you may be surprised to see so many City employees wearing jeans. The employees aren’t just dressing casually to express their personal style, they’re supporting local charities. Each month, City of Victorville employees donate an average of $800 to local charities through their Jeans Thursdays for Charity.
Employees donate $5 to wear jeans on a single Thursday or $15 to wear jeans every Thursday in a given month. The monthly charities are picked by employees. The only requirement is that the charity be local to the Victorville Community.
Jeans Thursdays for Charity began 18 months ago when Charlene Robinson, executive assistant to the City Manager, was inspired by a popular March-of-Dimes Fundraiser. “After we organized a Jeans Thursday fundraiser for the March of Dimes, I thought, ‘why not raise money for charity year-round,’” says Robinson.
Since Robinson started Jeans Thursdays in 2014, employees have contributed to 18 local charities including the Phoenix Foundation, Moses House, Wounded Warriors, and the Cancer Walk.
After hearing that the Victor Valley Rescue Mission lost 300 turkeys in a broken freezer, Robinson knew she had found her charity for November; and City employees have responded with gusto. So far, City employees have donated $1,100, two turkeys and two car-loads worth of food for the Rescue Mission’s holiday meals in November and December.
“Our employees are the most giving people,” says Robinson. “Every month, they come together to help others in need. Even our employees from Engineering and Public Works who are required to wear uniforms, give to our Jeans Thursdays.”
In addition to raising funds for charity, Jeans Thursdays has empowered employees to raise awareness for charities dear to them. According to Robinson, employees can get as creative as they want in marketing their charity for Jeans Thursday. Also, it’s common to see City of Victorville employees wearing jeans at events outside of City Hall.
“I’m happy to wear my jeans to business functions around town because it gives me the chance to tell people about a great local charity while explaining why I’m wearing jeans,” says Victorville City Manager, Doug Robertson.
In December, City employees will be raising funds to support Jocelyn’s Journey a local charity that funds research to find a cure for Rett Syndrome, a neurological disorder that strikes at random and affects girls almost exclusively. Jocelyn’s Journey is being championed by Victorville City Planner, Scott Webb.