Denim for Dollars

Professional work environments are dressing down for a cause.

Citrin Cooperman employees, including Chris Hegarty of Bryn Mawr (fourth from the right).In the corporate world, the occasional casual Friday can provide a welcome respite from the more formal attire that employers expect. Even better, some businesses are turning those dress-down days into opportunities to give back to the community.

At Citrin Cooperman & Co. in Philadelphia, casual days have become wonderful sources of fundraising and awareness for nonprofit organizations. About once a month, this accounting, tax and business consulting firm announces an office-wide dress-down day, during which employees can contribute $5 or more to the designated charity of the month. All of the money collected from this program, named “Jeans with a Twist,” goes directly to the charity.

Chris Hegarty of Bryn Mawr led the office’s program last July, raising $1,657 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

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“The $5 is a token gift, but many people give more than that,” says Hegarty. “We wear suits and ties at least four days a week. Everyone likes to have a casual day, so we just put something into it so that people are making a contribution to a charity.”

Hegarty is a member of the National MS Society’s Leadership Class, an annual program where 75 working professionals pledge to raise money for the organization. He represents the Greater Delaware Valley chapter.

Jeans with a Twist has increased in popularity nearly every month at Citrin Cooperman. In September, the firm raised $1,680 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. In October, it collected $1,850 for the American Cancer Society. During December, it earned $1,770 for the Pajama Program.

“It’s not a lot of money at any given time,” says Hegarty, “but by doing this every three or four weeks, we’re able to spread the wealth, if you will, and various organizations are able to be the beneficiaries.”

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