Thank you to all employees and friends who donated more than 200 pairs of jeans as part of our 25th Anniversary Celebration. As a result, WEC employees hand-delivered 217 pairs of jeans to two local elementary schools in the week before school resumed.
On Tuesday, August 26th and Thursday, August 28th, members of the WEC team, including Shareholder Joanna Brumsey and Founding Shareholder Jeff Chernitzer, delivered the denim to Tidewater Park Elementary School and PB Young Elementary School in Norfolk. Both schools are part of a United Way education initiative, and United Way is one of 25 organizations WEC is supporting this year.
Principals at both of the elementary schools were thrilled to receive the clothing, which WEC collected over several months in a children’s plastic “Jean Pool” set up in a common area in the Norfolk office. “Everyone loves having a fresh pair of jeans,” said Dr. Dwana White, Principal at PB Young, “but it also really helps our parents who live on tight budgets.” Both Dr. White and Dr. Sharon Phillips, principal at Tidewater Park, intend to distribute the pants as incentives to promote good behavior, punctuality and performance. “Our students wear uniforms, but on Fridays we have ‘dress down’ days so they can wear the jeans on those occasions,” said Dr. Phillips.
The “Jean Pool” concept flowed out of a regular practice at WEC where employees pay $5 to wear jeans on Fridays. “Instead of paying the $5 this summer, we asked them to bring in children’s size jeans,” says Chernitzer. “I’m so proud of how they responded to the challenge, but giving back is really part of our everyday culture here.”
A United Way representative joined WEC staff and shareholders at the two schools as they carried boxes of jeans into the buildings. Local TV stations WAVY and WTKR covered the events and aired pictures and footage on their evening newscasts, informing the community of WEC’s gifts and values.