Staff Senate hosts “Jeans for a Cause”

Eva Mihelich, Staff writer

For the past 10 years, Mercyhurst University Staff Senate has held an annual fundraiser to help raise money for local non-profits. Titled “Jeans for a Cause,” this fundraiser allows faculty and staff members of Mercyhurst University to dress down and wear jeans or Mercyhurst attire on Fridays with a donation of two dollars towards the chosen non-profit.

This semester, the organization chosen for donations is the ANNA Shelter: a non-profit, open admission animal welfare organization.

Their goal is to provide unwanted, stray, abused or neglected animals with a safe, nurturing, loving environment where they can be either reunited with their owners or placed into new life-long loving homes.

This annual fundraiser is a cooperative effort to get faculty and staff members involved in the University’s mission, which Justin Ross, Ph.D, president of the Staff Senate, expressed.

“What’s most interesting to me about Jeans for a Cause is that it is a very tangible way of living the mission,” said Ross.

“Sometimes it is difficult to show and articulate how we engage in the core values of the Sisters of Mercy or how we live out our mission, but this fundraiser allows those efforts to be seen: just look around on Fridays and see people wearing jeans and Mercyhurst gear to see this in real time! For me, it’s a weekly reminder of our dedication to service to others.”

Often, the faculty and staff are overlooked in the campus community. It is not just students; the community involves every person who walks on campus, so they should be involved in Mercyhurst’s service mission as well. This fundraiser provides a perfect opportunity for them to show their support and gratitude for local organizations.

Ross shared that it is quite common for faculty and staff to dress down each Friday during the fundraiser, which shows an overwhelming support for the non-profit chosen.

Sometimes service may seem daunting or overwhelming, but what many people do not realize is that local issues are perfect opportunities to show some kindness and support.

Christian Constantine, Veterans Service coordinator, has been participating in “Jeans for a Cause” since 2019. He shared that he was amazed at the number of non-profits in the Erie, Pennsylvania area.

“When [Ross], asked me to find a list of non-profits around here, I simply did a Google search and found a list of almost 450. I had no idea that there were that many non-profits in the Erie area,” said Constantine.

In the past, Mercyhurst University Staff Senate has chosen non-profits such as the Bloom Collaborative, Hospice of Metropolitan Erie, House of Mercy, Mission 22 and the Emmaus Soup Kitchen. These are all organizations that do such good for the community, so giving back to them is the University’s way of showing appreciation for the kindness they bring to Erie.

This semester, if you see faculty and staff in jeans and Mercyhurst attire, you’ll know that they are supporting a worthy cause and living out the core values of the Sisters of Mercy. To donate to Jeans for a Cause, visit