Posted on

FCIF lends a helping hand

The Floor Covering Industry Foundation (FCIF) is dedicated to financially assisting those who are—or have been—affiliated with the flooring industry who experience catastrophic illnesses, severe disabilities or other life-altering hardships. Grants are awarded based on need for expenses such as medical care, medications and other necessities as food, shelter and utilities.

FCIF, with the permission of beneficiaries, recently released details of two deserving recipients who were awarded grants through the program. The most recent case is Oralia Carrillo, who worked as a creeler in Dalton for 30 years. Now battling Stage-4 breast and bone cancer, she recently completed chemotherapy and is taking medications and infusions to help slow and treat the cancer. Although she has health insurance, she still has hefty medical bills and household expenses that have been piling up while she has been out of work.

Thankfully, a grant from FCIF helped pay for her medical travel expenses, cancer treatments, prescriptions, housing and living expenses. “It has helped me to pay off my medical bills and chemotherapy,” Carrillo said. “FCIF is a great foundation.”

Another grant recipient who volunteered to share her story is Melissa Taylor, a 23-year veteran of the flooring industry. After her diagnosis of breast cancer in 2017, she quickly realized the financial burden of this disease.

“You never think to budget for cancer,” she recalled. Her rare and rapidly growing cancer required frequent, aggressive treatments, so she had to take time off from work as a claims and customer communications specialist at a manufacturing facility. She was hesitant to turn to her sons for financial help, adding: “Parents are not supposed to rely on their kids. It should be the other way around.”

After a year of rigorous treatments and doctor visits, Taylor is now in remission. She has returned to work and learned to not take life for granted. “This grant from FCIF saved my home, lowered my stress level and gave me peace of mind,” she said. “I stopped worrying so much about medical bills. My grandkids, God and the FCIF gave me the strength to push through this difficult time.”

Campaign for a cause

FCIF, with the help of generous donations from both industry and private citizens, is looking to help more people like Carrillo and Taylor. To that end, the organization is running its “Helping My Fellow Man” campaign this fall with hopes to raise additional funds for flooring industry members and their families (see ad on page 30). In the past year, the FCIF has doubled its grants to families, and the organization is seeking an additional $150,000 to help reach their goal of $650,000 for 2018.

Companies who make a pledge at the $500 and above level by Oct. 31 will be recognized in several media and trade show publications in the fourth quarter. Additional giving levels are as follows:

  • $1,000 – Genesis
  • $2,000 – Bronze
  • $5,000 – Silver
  • $10,000 – Gold
  • $25,000 – Platinum
  • $50,000 – Diamond

FCIF fundraising chairman Larry Nagle invites industry members to participate in the Helping My Fellow Man campaign. Donations can be made online at fcif.org or via mail at 855 Abutment Road #2, Dalton, Ga., 30721. For more details, contact FCIF executive director, Andrea Blackbourn, at ablackbourn@fcif.org.

FCIF was chartered in 1981 by industry leaders such as Nagle, Harry Saul, Bob Shaw, Harry Saul, Walter Guinan and Al Wahnon. The FCIF board of directors includes Howard Brodsky, co-founder, chairman and co-CEO of CCA Global Partners; Keith Campbell, chairman of Mannington Mills, who serves as treasurer; and Tim Baucom, executive vice president, residential, Shaw Industries, who serves as corporate secretary.