Citizens Bank gives back by wearing jeans

By Lisa Burnett Originally Published June 20, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated June 19, 2013 at 11:00 a.m.
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Citizens Bank associates combined efforts with other volunteers to collect and sort donations at the Batesville Help and Hope food pantry after the associates gave the charity $500 from their recent Blue Jeans Day fundraiser.

— Citizens Bank employees in Batesville are raising money for charity by breaking out their blue jeans.

The bank’s associates gave Batesville Help and Hope $500 on June 7 to use to purchase food this summer.

They raised the money by paying $1 every Friday to wear blue jeans to work, said Chuck Jones, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Citizens Bank.

“We make a contribution to local charities [through this program],” Jones said. The program began in July 2012, and this latest contribution to Help and Hope makes the total amount of donation money $4,000.

Once a donation of $500 is reached, a local charity receives a contribution.

Family Violence Prevention, the White River Civitan Club, Christmas Brings Hope, Santa for a Senior, Harvest of Hope, The Glass Slipper Project and the Molly Campbell Benefit in Mountain View are some previous recipients of the Blue Jean Friday donations, Jones said.

Carolyn Wilson, food coordinator for Batesville Help and Hope, said, “We’re using every bit of [the $500] for food.”

Batesville Help and Hope gives out food to people who qualify under the guidelines of the Arkansas Foodbank, Wilson said.

“We were excited about [the donation],” Wilson said. “Anytime anybody does anything extraordinary for us, we are excited about it.”

Wilson has been with Batesville Help and Hope for almost 20 years, she said.

Along with feeding the needy in Batesville, Wilson said, Help and Hope assists residents in the area by providing fans to senior citizens in the summer.

“We also help when people’s houses burn down,” Wilson said.

Although the charity primarily provides food to people, clothing donations also help the Batesville community.

“We have great people who donate [clothes] to us,” Wilson said.

When a family is in need of clothing, Wilson said, Help and Hope has enough clothing on hand for each member of a family to receive two complete outfits.

John Dews, president and CEO of Citizens Bank, said he is proud of his employees for making donations to local charities.

Dews said he admires his associates for making the same commitment to the community that Citizens Bank does.

“It’s consistent with our bank’s philosophy of investing in our communities and building partnerships with local charities,” Dews said. “It’s just what we should do.”

Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

Online Reporter Lisa Burnett can be reached at 501-378-3887 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

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