If you're a staff member at Omaha South High School and you want to wear blue jeans, it comes with a price.
People are willing to pay. In fact, some of them pay way more than the $5 it takes to don denim on designated days.
That's because it all goes to help others.
In December, it helps Goodfellows, The World-Herald's charity. It provides one-time emergency aid and holiday meal certificates for people in the community who need help.
The South High effort is at least 23 years old, said Helen Sliwa, who recently retired after that many years as the school's treasurer. Her helper has been math teacher Richard Benak, who now is coordinating the donation.
Both say the South workers are a generous bunch. They support a number of other causes, especially when they involve people with a connection to the school: a memorial scholarship fund for a teacher who died in a car accident and help for a teacher when a tornado destroyed her home, for example.
That's why Goodfellows resonates, both said.
South Omaha has a lot of people in need, Benak said, so the charity probably has helped some of the school's students.
By giving to Goodfellows, Sliwa said, “you know that somebody from your area is getting some food and help with heating. There's always somebody who's behind in their bills.”
Some staffers donate as much as $100 to the cause, way more dollars than there are Blue Jean Days.
That spirit made it hard to leave South, Sliwa said. “It's a great staff. We were all family.”