Pro: Dress-down days provide awareness for charitable organizations

Christina Giovanazi, Community Editor

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Merriam-Webster dictionary defines charity as “generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering.”

Charity is an essential part of our identity as a Catholic school. One of the most effective ways that students engage with charity at JC is through dress-down days, which allow students to dress out of uniform in exchange for a charitable contribution.

If students are asked to give a donation without a gimmick like a dress-down day, it can be difficult to remember to bring in the money. Students can be too stressed and preoccupied to focus on making it a point to bring in a cash contribution.

Students often have good intentions and want to support causes like the Ronald McDonald House Charities, the families of the police officers shot outside the Abingdon Panera Bread, and the Cambiando Vidas service trip to the Dominican Republic. Having a dress-down day is an easy way to get students’ attention. It’s a physical reminder to donate money toward a charity.

When students dress down on a set day and remember to donate a specific amount of money, it’s much easier for an organization to set fundraising goals. Money can be raised quickly and efficiently and spent on those in need as soon as possible.

Dressing down also raises awareness for a charity. Students are united in support of the cause that the charity benefits. This awareness is becomes more prominent when students receive wrist bands they must wear to dress down. These usually say the name of the charity and act as a reminder of the importance of the cause it supports after the dress-down day is over.

Other than the occasional bracelet, students do not receive anything of value in exchange for donations. Although dress-down days give incentive for students to give money, this incentive isn’t to be confused with a reward.

Dress-down days are an active way for our school community to engage with charitable organizations. They are proven to be an effective method for grabbing the attention of students, prompting them to give for a cause they care about supporting.

Part of JC’s mission statement is “instilling Catholic values” in its students. Charity is at the forefront of these values, and dressing down acts as positive encouragement for students to learn generosity and kindness, while giving them the opportunity to wear sweatpants to school.

Christina Giovanazi is a Community Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.