Recently, at the Floor Covering Industry Foundation (FCIF), we launched our Advocate Program, a new campaign that puts tools and resources in the hands of businesses to raise awareness about our mission. If you don’t know about FCIF, the 501c3 non-profit has been around since 1981 and provides financial assistance to those who have worked in the floor covering industry and their household family members who are battling life-altering illnesses, injuries, and disabilities.
The three criteria to receive financial assistance from the FCIF are (detailed guidelines and an application can be found at the fcif.org):
- The applicant or household family member must have worked recently in the floor covering industry for five or more years or be retired from the industry.
- Currently battling a life-altering illness, injury, or disability that impacts the ability to work.
- Financial need.
We cannot do it without your help. Workplace communications are vital in helping flooring workers and their families by providing them with information and resources when facing a life-altering illness, injury, or disability. Let’s make an impact in our community together.
Currently, we are sharing our message through the “This Is My Story Campaign,” which features our board members, staff, and grantees. This campaign shines light on how FCIF connects people who want to help those in need through personal testimonies. Here are a few of the stories. You can read more at fcif.org/stories.
A 40-year veteran of the floor covering industry, Earl worked as a paper cutter for carpet sample books. A few years ago, Earl was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and spinal stenosis. Earl said, “My walking has been affected the most. I cannot walk long distances and find it very difficult to do more than shuffle my feet.” He was struggling to navigate his home while coping with his limited physical abilities. Luckily, Earl was connected to FCIF, which provided a grant to help make his house more accessible, including bathroom modifications, smooth non-slip flooring and transitions, smart lighting, and a mechanical lift chair. These accommodations have enabled Earl to continue to live independently.
Oralia has been battling stage 4 invasive duct cancer of her breast which has spread to her bones. She’s a fighter, though. To help provide for her family, she is still working on the plant floor when she is not traveling out of town for her chemotherapy treatments and taking time off to get her strength back. She has worked for 19 years in the floor covering industry, most recently as a creeler. Even with health insurance, she still has large medical bills since some of her treatments are out-of-network. She is very thankful that industry leaders organized the FCIF, which provided a grant that is bridging her financial gap. The foundation helped cover the cost of her medical care, prescriptions, transportation, and housing.
FCIF was created by leaders in the industry to focus attention on the health and human service needs of floor covering industry members in times of life-altering medical hardships. Since its founding, the FCIF has distributed more than $9 million in grants with compassion, confidentiality, and dignity. Beneficiaries include flooring retailers, installers, retail salespeople, distributor personnel, manufacturing employees, and industry executives.
For more information or to donate, visit fcif.org.
Andrea Blackbourn is the executive director of the Floor Covering Industry Foundation (FCIF) in Dalton, Georgia. She can be reached at email@example.com or 706.217.1183.