Casual about your dress code, serious about disability

“I’ve got nothing to wear!” Every one of us has said it while standing in front of a full wardrobe. Nothing seems exactly right. Casual Day provides one day in the year when anything goes. This wildly popular fundraising event is based on the concept that you wear anything for the day as long as you wear the official Casual Day sticker. Proceed from donations for the stickers benefit organisations rendering services to persons with disabilities.

The 2011 campaign, themed around outfits that rock stars have popularised over the decades, suggests that you cast off your everyday threads and dress yourself in a way that sets free your inner rock star. Your sticker, obtainable for a R10 donation, will show that you’re dressed this way in support of the rights of persons with disabilities.

Casual Day is on Friday, 2 September this year and has become a highlight on the calendar of South Africans every year. As South Africa’s foremost fundraising event for persons with disabilities, the project raised a record amount of R18,03 million through the 2010 campaign.
Says Mrs Annelise De Jager Casual Day founder, “It is heart-warming to see the sustained enthusiasm and passion displayed by the public, our participating NGOs and companies around this project. Each year people join in the fun, knowing that their contribution really reaches the people it is intended to assist.”

Casual Day creates a lot of excitement in the workplace, as staff members compete with each other to dress up in humorous outfits.

However, underlying all the fun is the serious business of raising money and increasing awareness of disability as a need for social focus.
Stickers are distributed via the infrastructure of the project’s financial partner, Absa, Game and Edcon stores countrywide, and a wide network of participating organisations rendering services in the field of disability.

Mr Johan Viljoen, National Director of the National Council for Person with Physical Disabilities (NCPPDSA) has congratulated all the participants of the project on their excellent performance. He says, “Casual Day is a highlight on the calendar or the 270 beneficiary organisations who participated in the project, making use of the opportunity to raise funds for their organisation’s needs. The lives of persons with disabilities have been greatly enhanced by the funds they have raised for those they render services to. The money is deployed in many areas, including job creation, poverty alleviation, social upliftment, housing and education. Not only does it raise funds, it also raises awareness in a fun way, of the needs of this community.”

Marcia Zungu, a representative of Absa Group Marketing and Communications Division for Corporate Social Investment, says “We are very proud of our long and successful association with Casual Day. The project has gone from strength to strength, each year capturing the attention of more South Africans. We are gratified that our efforts will result in providing resources to one of the most vulnerable sectors of our society and that we are helping to empower persons with disabilities. Casual Day is a light-hearted event that builds camaraderie in the workplace. South Africans have proved, by making their donations, that this is a cause worth supporting.”