Feeling Good and Doing Good - By: Diana Pleeter, General Manager, Foundation of Pelican Marsh, Inc.

November 2nd, 2016

By Diana Pleeter, General Manager, Foundation of Pelican Marsh, Inc.

What could be better than feeling comfortable in jeans while supporting a great cause? But let me backtrack . . .

Foundation of Pelican Marsh, Inc. is a homeowners association that takes care of all administrative functions for Pelican Marsh, a gated community of 1900 homes in Naples.

The 20 employees in our office are always looking for ways to give back to the community. Throughout the year, we raise money for local charities.

Every summer, we ask each employee to suggest a charity to support. Then we all agree on one. In the past, we’ve chosen the Avow hospice and St. Matthews House. This year, we chose David Lawrence Center (DLC). All our employees knew about DLC; about two-thirds of the staff knew someone who had used services there, whether a family member, friend, or friend of a friend. It was interesting to learn this; it’s not the kind of thing you typically talk about at work.

We had our charity. Now we needed a way to raise money. As an administrative office, we deal with residents on daily basis, so jeans are normally not allowed. However, in the summer, because many residents go back north, we can be more casual.  That led to the idea of Casual Friday. From May 1 through September 30 – our off-season – each staff member donated $2 to David Lawrence Center every Friday they wore jeans!

We put a sign up at the front desk letting to people know why we were wearing jeans. It read: We’re wearing jeans today to raise money for David Lawrence Center. The residents thought it was a really great idea; they were very supportive.

How did we feel doing this? Well, who doesn’t like to dress down at work? And how great is it that we got to be comfortable in jeans, and also raise money for a good cause? We wish we could do it all year.

David Lawrence Center reacted so enthusiastically and sent us letters of thanks. Their appreciation makes us ask, ‘What else can we do?’

It’s amazing how the smallest gesture can make a difference in somebody’s life. Any amount – big or small – can help someone at DLC. What’s more, our Casual Friday may have inspired someone else to make a gift to DLC. We at Foundation of Pelican Marsh believe it’s so important to support our Collier County charities. You know they’re helping local families — local people. Someday, they could be helping you.

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