Andrea Dobbins — the first executive director the Floor Covering Industry Foundation (FCIF) has ever had — described the foundation as a “reset button.” Chartered in Washington D.C. in 1981, its members have been helping those in the flooring industry overcome medical and financial crises for 36 years.
“The foundation assists people who have life altering and catastrophic medical events,” Dobbins explained.
There are three criteria that must be met for an individual to apply for funds:
- The individual must have worked in the flooring industry for five or more years. Although, at the time of their application they may be retired.
- The individual must have a life altering or catastrophic medical event.
- The individual’s household must be in experiencing a financial crisis.
Since its beginnings in Washington D.C., FCIF has resided in Chicago, Ill., Anaheim, Ca. and now, since 2016, Dalton, Ga.
Today, the foundation sits under the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) umbrella, and is thriving under the leadership of Dobbins and the FCIF Board of Directors. The board is comprised of flooring executives from across the country including the current FCIF chair, Howard Brodsky, co-CEO of CCA Global; Larry Nagle, one of the original FCIF founders; and treasurer of FCIF, Keith Campbell of Mannington Floors.
“This past year we doubled the number of grants we gave out in the funds we spent and the number of families we helped,” Dobbins said. “We gave out nearly half a million dollars.”
Every year, CCA Global, a corporate donor of the foundation, holds the Alan Greenburg Golf Tournament to raise money to be doled out in grants. This past year, FCIF raised $160,000 from the tournament alone — $20,000 more than the previous year. On top of the golf tournament, the foundation also receives money through corporate donations, individual donors and an endowment.
In addition, the WFCA provides donated office space and management services for the organization. This money is used to keep the foundation running, and most importantly, to help those in need.
Those who are eligible to receive a grant must first apply. The applications are assessed by Dobbins, an intern from Dalton State College — the foundation has a partnership with the college — and the subcommittee of the FCIF board. A medical case manager reviews the severity of each situation.
Pamela Love, of Summerville, Ga. realized she met the criteria after she discovered she had a brain tumor in May 2017. She had worked at Mohawk Industries for 13 years, and had planned to retire within two. Unfortunately, soon after she was diagnosed with cancer, her Husband Steve broke his leg and was unable to go to work.
After burning through the money in their savings account they finally decided to seek help through FCIF, and they were eventually awarded a grant of $6,000.
The amount of money given to each applicant is need based, not a set dollar amount, Dobbins explained. “Some of the things we help with are medical care, x-rays, surgeries … those kinds of things,” she said. “We also help with household expenses such as rent or mortgage.”
Grants are doled out over the course of six months, and the foundation specifies what the money is to be used for within that time period. Applicants are eligible to reapply again for another six months if their needs continue.
“The grant could not have come at a better time,” Pamela Love said. “We appreciate the generosity more than you could ever know.”
“It changed our lives. Without it we wouldn’t have had much of a Christmas at all. They really helped us out … it would have been real bad for us if they hadn’t,” Steve Love told FCW.