If you are visiting the Sonesta Bee Cave Austin on a Friday, you might notice that many employees—from housekeeping to the front desk—are wearing jeans. But here’s what you won’t see: They are also giving to a good cause.
Let us explain.
“Friday Jeans Day” began back in October when the hotel wanted to raise money for the American Cancer Society to raise awareness of breast cancer. One way in which employees could participate was by donating $5 in exchange for being able to wear jeans on a selected Friday. The idea was a smashing success. Employees donated a total of $380. At the time, guests were also invited to participate: If they chose not to have their rooms cleaned for one day, the hotel would donate $5 on their behalf. This added another $1,000 to the fundraising total.
But it was the “Friday Jeans Day” that (excuse the expression) had legs, and Sonesta saw an opportunity to build on it. For one thing, who doesn’t enjoy a casual Friday? For another, there’s nothing better than employees who enjoy coming to work and feeling like they’re contributing to something bigger. Employees started wondering how they could help other organizations as well. What if every Friday was Jeans Day, with a $5 donation built in? And what if the Employee of the Month chose a charity to donate to during the following month?
It was a brilliant idea. Since its inception, Sonesta Bee Cave Austin has given money to help Lake Travis Ministries, the Alzheimer’s Association of Central Texas, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Austin Pets Alive and Meals on Wheels. Donations have ranged from $250 to $700. It just goes to show how the spirit of giving can take on a life of its own.