In 2010, Metro is partnering with a local radio station to support Cincinnati’s FreestoreFoodbank in collecting non-perishable food items for those in need.
“The holidays are the perfect time of year to do things for others,” said Etienne. “We provide a service to the community every day – but the holidays are when we try to do something special for those who need it most. Our efforts also showcase Metro’s role in the community and are our way of giving back.”
San Antonio, Texas
VIA Metropolitan Transit
Workers at VIA Metropolitan Transit in San Antonio have been using their own money to spread holiday tidings across the Alamo City since 1995. That’s the year they first started the Blue Jeans for Needy Families program.
The program is a volunteer effort that encourages employees to wear jeans on Fridays in exchange for a one-dollar donation to the Blue Jeans fund. The proceeds generated by the employees are then used to benefit many charities in the greater metropolitan area through such annual activities as an Easter basket delivery and a back-to-school shopping trip for disadvantaged children. But the first successful venture to develop out of the Blue Jeans program was the delivery of holiday gift bags.
In December 1995, donations to the Blue Jeans fund were used to purchase food gift certificates for 12 families across the city. The United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County provided the family profiles to the VIA liaison, and representatives from all departments at the agency also collected non-perishable foods, clothing, toys, and other gifts. Then the VIA employees delivered the bags of goods to the families identified by the United Way.
Since then VIA employees have expanded their outreach during the holiday season, and through the years the Blue Jeans fund has been used to provide gift bags and cards to hundreds of needy children, disabled adults, hospitalized veterans, and single parents.
In addition to the gifts passed out around Christmastime, the Blue Jeans fund also pays for the annual Easter Basket project. Each spring, VIA employees donate eggs, candy, stuffed animals and other items appropriate for Easter baskets. The employees then assemble the baskets and pass them out to children in need of assistance.
VIA employees also help children when it is time to go back to school. Each summer, VIA joins with Communities in Schools, an educational empowerment organization, to select local children that need help obtaining school supplies. The chosen children are taken to a local Target store by VIA employees, who then assist them in buying school supplies that are paid for by the program.
Through the Blue Jeans for Needy Families program, VIA employees can assist charities in the greater metropolitan area. The workers themselves benefit from improved morale resulting from good deeds, and VIA itself gains a good reputation in the community. All this is had for the price of a one-dollar donation each Friday.