July 9/16, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 2
By Steven Feldman
The Floor Covering Industry Foundation—or FCIF, as it is often referred. I think many of us on the FCIF board take for granted the number of people who do not fully understand the scope and importance of this nonprofit organization. In a nutshell, when an unexpected catastrophic medical event impacts a family, the FCIF is there to help. And to put things in perspective, no industry in the U.S. has anything even close to the FCIF—aside from the charitable work done by the Screen Actors Guild to help those in that profession.
The floor covering industry has a long history of helping its own, in good times and in bad. In fact, over the past 10 years, the foundation has provided $3 million in grants to individuals in need. Hundreds have been assisted by the organization, including installers, retail salespeople, distributor personnel and manufacturing employees.
The grants range from a few hundred dollars all the way up to thousands of dollars based on the severity of the case and the financial need of the household. Grants cover expenses such as medical care, medications, medical supplies and other costs directly related to beneficiary care, as well as basic necessities such as food, shelter and utilities. They are awarded to those experiencing life-altering medical hardships, catastrophic illness or severe disabilities.
Last year, the foundation doubled its grant impact, helping more families that are fighting some of the hardest battles of their lives. This year, we as a board had set a revenue goal of $650,000, which is an increase of $150,000 over last year. To get there, the FCIF is looking for new companies to make a financial investment at the $1,000 level or above through the Fellow Man Campaign running through Oct. 31. Those companies can be retailers, distributors, manufacturers—or anyone for that matter.
Melissa Taylor is one recent example of how the FCIF steps up to the plate. After her diagnosis of breast cancer in 2017, Melissa quickly realized the financial burden of this disease. “You never think to budget for cancer,” she said. Her rare and rapidly growing cancer required frequent, aggressive treatments, so she had to take time off from work. A 23-year veteran of the floor covering industry, Melissa has worked the past 13 years in claims and customer communications at a manufacturing facility. By providing a grant to Melissa to help with her most pressing needs such as medical care, housing, utilities and food, she was able to land back on her feet.
After a year of rigorous treatments and doctor visits, Melissa is now in remission. She has returned to work and learned not to take life for granted. “This grant saved my home, lowered my stress level and gave me peace of mind. The Floor Covering Industry Foundation gave me the strength to push through this difficult time.”
The FCIF was founded in 1981 by prominent industry leaders such as Harry Saul, Walter Guinan, Bob Shaw, Al Wahnon and Larry Nagle. Nagle currently serves as vice chairman; Howard Brodsky, co-CEO of CCA Global Partners, is chairman.
Companies large and small are invited to make a pledge to the foundation at fcif.org. Donations can be a one-time gift or billed monthly. Those companies and individuals who make an annual commitment at $1,000 or more will be recognized in industry trade publications and trade show marketing in late 2018 and early 2019, including being listed as an FCIF donor in Floor Covering News. For questions, reach out to Andrea Blackbourn at 706.217.1183 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.