A “Jeanius” Way To Give Back

Members Give Back

By Nicole Needles

When most people put on jeans in the morning, it’s mundane. When employees at Thompson & Johnson Equipment Co. put on jeans, it’s an act of service.

Blue Jean Friday proceeds to support
Cub Scout Pack 43.

Thompson & Johnson is a family-owned company based in New York and has been giving back to the community for years through its Blue Jean Fridays initiative. The initiative allows employees to wear blue jeans on Fridays if they donate money, and the company matches that amount to contribute to a different charity every month.

The charities are picked from the company’s four branches, with employees from each branch suggesting organizations they think are in need of a donation. The participation rate varies from 10 to 40 employees, depending on the charity, and the monthly contribution is anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500, totaling an average of $10,000 to $15,000 a year.

“When talking about businesses contributing to communities, it’s much more than just giving money. It’s giving time and energy and having dealer principals and owners that recognize how important it is and are willing to let employees go during the workday to be able to contribute,” said Mike Vaughan, CFO at Thompson & Johnson. “I think it’s something that often gets swept under the rug or not talked enough about.”

T & J donates to the food banks of Albany, Elmira and Central New York.

Aside from the Blue Jean Fridays initiative, the company also donates forklifts to local food banks, contributes to Toys for Tots and looks to hire veterans as well as volunteers to serve lunch to veterans. They also donated their time during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 to volunteer at local food banks since they couldn’t visit customer locations.

Shaun Manning, marketing and inside sales specialist at Thompson & Johnson said, “It’s only fair that we give back to the community that helped us foster such a great business.”

The company’s motivator for giving back to the community is the community’s support for the company over the years. From a small company in 1954, it has grown to an over 170-employee company with four branches across Syracuse, Horseheads, Binghamton and Albany. The team recognizes the importance of giving back to the community and tries to help employees and improve the communities in which they live.

The Blue Jean Fridays initiative allows employees to donate money and gives them a voice in suggesting organizations that are close to their hearts. It is an excellent way for employees to feel like they are making a difference in their community and for the company to give back to the community that has helped it become what it is today.

“Thompson & Johnson has always been about giving back to the community. Our customers and our employees take care of Thompson & Johnson,” said Kara Abelgore, the company’s human resources specialist.

Thompson & Johnson has a passion for giving back to those in need and has demonstrated this over the years. And they’re not finished yet. The team has plans to keep up the give-back path and to expand its efforts in a more diverse and creative way.