When the unexpected strikes, the Floor Covering Industry Foundation (FCIF) is there to help those who are or have been affiliated with the floor covering industry who experience illnesses, severe disabilities, or other life-altering hardships. The circumstances may vary, but the results are often similar—the individual’s livelihood is threatened.
At the core of any strong organization are committed volunteers who drive the mission and impact. We caught up with the executive board of the FCIF to ask about why they are passionate about this cause. Check out their reasons for giving.
#1 Legacy of Industry Leaders
The Foundation has a heritage of leadership and the board of directors is composed of executives from across the country. Howard Brodsky of CCA Global Partners serves as the chairman of the board and Larry Nagle, president of N.L. Nagle, Inc., is the current vice chair. Nagle has been a staunch advocate and fundraiser for the organization since its humble beginnings: “There were four founders in the early 1980s: Harry Saul, Walter Guinan, Al Wahnon and myself. It is a pleasure to be part of the great generosity of our industry.”
#2 Relief for People Experiencing Trauma
In the past couple months, the organization has awarded grants to individuals with breast cancer, Hodgkins lymphoma, squamous cell cancer, diabetes and pancreatic cancer. Though all of the families affected have medical insurance to help offset the financial expense, many are unable to continue to work and have loss of income due to chemotherapy treatments, exhaustion, or severe physical limitations. “What could be more heartwarming than supporting a family that has nowhere to turn due to a medical situation?” asked Roger Marcus, chairman and chief executive officer of American Biltrite and executive committee member of FCIF.
#3 Helping Colleagues in Floor Covering
The generous gifts are examples of co-workers helping co-workers, granting relief in times of crisis. “The floor community is strengthened when we lift each other up when hard times strike,” said Tim Baucom, executive vice president-residential division at Shaw Industries and secretary of FCIF. “This is one of only a handful of industries that takes care of their own in time of need,” added Dana Teague, vice president global exhibitions of Informa and the trade show TISE and executive committee member of FCIF.
#4 Investing in Something Bigger than Profit
“So much of what we do is measured by dollars and cents and/or increased productivity,” said Scott Humphrey, chief executive officer of the World Floor Covering Association and also serves as the board president of FCIF. “The Foundation is measured by the impact on the lives of those who have helped to make this industry a viable one for all of us. Personally, it is the feel good part of my job and an opportunity to both pay it forward and give back.”
#5 Direct Impact
“A gift directly helps those in our industry who are dealing with debilitating and catastrophic illness by providing financial resources to meet their obligations,” said Keith Campbell, chairman of the board at Mannington and treasurer and chief financial officer of FCIF. “Unlike many foundations that pass funds to other non-profits, schools, or government programs, the Floor Covering Industry Foundation makes awards directly to families in despair. Grants are paid to the individual who applies and provide assistance with meeting monthly housing, utility, food, prescription, medical bills, and other approved case-specific expenses, for example, a wheelchair. The applicants can receive a one-time award and possibly an additional monthly award for six months.”
#6 Top-Notch Stewardship
“What amazes me is the level of stewardship we offer donors,” said Andrea Dobbins, executive director, FCIF. “To have CEOs, owners, and executive leaders reviewing each grant applicant and making decision on awards, goes to show each dollar is put to its highest and best use. Our board of directors is very hands-on. They ensure that we are maximizing the grants in ways that transforms lives.”
How Does an FCIF Grant Work?
Rising costs and expenses rob beneficiaries of the basic financial freedom they deserve in their time of need. Financial help is viewed as an opportunity to say “we care” to those in our floor covering industry family. Grants are awarded based on need for expenses, such as medical care, medications, medical supplies, and other expenses directly related to beneficiary care, as well as such basic necessities as food, shelter and utilities.
Behind every assistance grant made is a story of crisis and perseverance—of a real person struggling through a difficult time. Dobbins said FCIF’s goal is to keep unexpected setbacks from turning into permanent roadblocks.
- A household member must have worked in the floor covering industry for 5+ years. Those years do not have to be consecutive and could have been in the past. Grants are also made to retirees.
- The individual is experiencing a major life-altering events, for example diagnosis of a major illness, severe injury due car accidents, child born with disabilities, care of elderly parent with dementia, etc.
- The applicant should have the ability to demonstrate their monthly expenses are above the household’s monthly income and/or that the one-time medical or other expenses present a large financial burden on the family.
- Complete an application package at fcif.org.
How to Apply
The organization currently makes grants on a rolling bases. An application can be downloaded at fcif.org or by emailing Dobbins at firstname.lastname@example.org. Human resources professionals in the industry are encouraged to post the application on their intranets and request posters for break rooms.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Due to medical and financial review, it takes at least 30 days for a grant decision to be made once the applicant has submitted a full application package.
How to Contribute
The Floor Covering Industry Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit funded by companies and individuals in the floor covering industry. The Foundation depends on contributions from industry manufacturers, distributors, retailers, industry trade associations and individuals. Therefore, the amount of assistance that can be provided, as well as the number of beneficiaries who can be helped, is determined by the availability of funds. Find out more at fcif.org or by calling 706.217.1183.