Oakland County employees raised nearly $52,000 this year by donating money in exchange for being allowed to dress casually. On Dec. 18, County Executive L. Brooks Patterson distributed $35,500 among 18 southeast Michigan organizations during a ceremony in the lobby of the Executive Office Building.
Among the recipients was Orion/Oxford FISH, which provides emergency food and referrals to residents of Oxford, Orion, Addison and part of Oakland townships.
"The generosity of our county employees is exceeded only by their professionalism and commitment to serve the residents of Oakland County," Patterson said. "Casual Day is one of many ways our employees give back throughout the year."
When people seek assistance from Oxford/Orion FISH, volunteers assess the problem, identify the need, and work toward a solution. The solution may be a same-day appointment at the FISH food pantry to receive emergency groceries to last five to seven days and/or a referral to another agency for additional assistance.
The other Casual Day recipients for 2012 were: the American Diabetes Association, Bingham Farms; Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Metropolitan Detroit Chapter, Troy; D-MAN Foundation, Rochester Hills; Donate Life Coalition of Michigan, Ann Arbor; FernCare, Ferndale; Give-A-Christmas Year Round, Royal Oak; Helping Hearts Helping Hands, Clarkston; Kids Kicking Cancer, Detroit; Rainbow Connection, Rochester; Rebuilding Together Oakland County, Farmington Hills; Toys for Tots, Waterford; Walk the Line to Spinal Cord Injury Recovery, Southfield; and Pontiac’s Baldwin Center, Child Abuse and Neglect Council (CARE House), Grace Centers of Hope,, McLaren Children’s Health Services, and the Oakland County Pioneer & Historical Society,
Over the course of the year, another $16,200 was given to 14 other organizations or people. They include the families of West Bloomfield Officer Patrick O’Rourke, who was killed in the line of duty Sept. 9, and James Cram, Patterson’s security officer who was injured in an Aug. 10 automobile crash that also injured Patterson.
The Casual Day program allows employees in participating departments to dress casually on Thursdays or Fridays for a minimum donation of $1. Since its inception 20 years ago, Oakland County employees have donated well over a half-million dollars, touching the lives of thousands of people. No taxpayer funds are used.