Montgomery County is a giving community as many will attest to and employers are no exception. Four County Mental Health Center is happy to be in the mix of giving employers with their annual Christmas Jeans Fundraiser where employees can donate to wear jeans Dec. 3 through Dec. 21. Staff members donate $2 per work day which equals 15 work days for a total of $30 for the three weeks of the event; employees are able to donate more if they wish. 

Chief Operating Officer Jodi Hayse said the fundraiser if 100 percent employee-funded. "We simply collect the donations and spread the money out," she said. Funds raised were split between the Salvation Army in Coffeyville, Adopt-A-Family in Independence, Angels in the Attic in Ark City and Helping Hands in Winfield. "Our Wilson County staff select a local project they support as well," said Hayse. "This year they selected Mercy House." Employees donated their money by Dec. 7 as that way the monies could be handed out in a timely fashion.

"Our board of directors, who thoughtfully approves these activities, and our staff have a heart for the communities we serve," Hayse said with a smile. "This has been a fun way for everyone to get involved to the level they wish to make a difference for others."

She added the dress code throughout the year is business casual and as a general rule no blue jeans are allowed. "This is such a win/win, who doesn't like to wear jeans?" said Hayse. "So the staff gets to wear jeans and do some good with their money at the same time."

Hayse added that thanks to the generosity of their employees, the company raised nearly $2,500 this year across the agency. "But that's not all," she said excitedly. "We did a special food drive for the Salvation Army in November as well. Also, at our company Christmas parties employees are invited to bring canned food items in exchange for prize drawing tickets. Between our three main locations we were able to donate well over 1,000 non-perishable food items to area agencies like the Independence Food Basket and the Salvation Army."

There are rules to those participating. The employee must pre-pay to wear jeans, the jeans must be neat, clean and free of holes, and they must cover you, and the rest of the dress code applies during the fundraiser.

Hayse said the employees look forward to the fundraiser each year, not only because they get to dress more casual at work but mainly because of the ability to make somebody else have a wonderful Christmas.