For Porter-Starke Services employees, the option to dress down for “casual Fridays” is more than a job perk— it’s a mission.
The company’s “Casual for a Cause” program imbues the simple act of donning jeans and t-shirts with a quality not unlike that of a superhero affixing their cape. Instead of leaping tall buildings, participants contribute a small fee to relax their wardrobe.
All the money collected is then donated to a different local nonprofit organization each month. Over the past fiscal year, Porter-Starke Services employees raised a total of $10,906 between July 2018 and June 2019.
Thanks to their generosity, this year’s beneficiaries— including Opportunity Enterprises, Mental Health America of Porter County, Crisis Center, Hilltop Neighborhood House, Serenity House, Family House, Brother’s Keeper, Housing Opportunities, and Caring Place— have helped those who needed it to find work, self-sufficiency, healthcare, homes, safety, and an overall better quality of life.
Selecting which nonprofits will receive funding is a multi-step process, explained Jennifer Bissonnette, Marketing and Communication Specialist for Porter-Starke Services. Employees are invited to submit recommendations throughout the year for the following year’s efforts.
At the end of each fiscal year her team surveys staff to get an idea of the nonprofits they would like to support, including those suggested by employees. The executive team then reviews their list compiled from the survey results and forwards it on to the Porter-Starke Services Foundation Board for final approval.
Porter-Starke Services’ successful “Casual for a Cause” program began in 2008. Over the years, empowered and generous employees contributed to the missions of local academic and sports teams, Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, First Contact, Quilts of Valor, Porter County Parks, and provided school supplies for patients at Marram Health Center in Gary, among many other endeavors.
Witnessing the large impact a group of coworkers can have, through such a seemingly small decision, is one of the main reasons employees choose to participate, said Bissonnette.
For more information about Porter-Starke Services’ community impact initiatives, services, and resources, please visit porterstarke.org.