The Floor Covering Industry Foundation (FCIF) is hosting its second annual “One Day to Give” event on September 7. The event is a 24-hour online fundraising drive that aims to unite the floor covering industry and make a lasting impact on families faced with unexpected medical battles who need help getting back on their feet.
This year, the event coincides with Labor Day weekend for a very significant reason. “It’s important for the company to impact the sustainability of the community and individual families where their labor force comes from,” Andrea Blackbourn, the foundation’s executive director, told Floor Covering News. “We picked September 7 this year because it’s the week of Labor Day. It’s an acknowledgment of the labor force that makes the industry so successful.”
The event serves several purposes—the first of which is to raise funds for the work the FCIF does and the relief it brings to many families within the flooring industry. “Our mission is to help people who work in the flooring industry or their household family members who have financial needs related to a severe injury, illness or disability,” Blackbourn explained. “People are already dealing with the very physical and emotional struggle related to their medical condition. This is a way for our industry to help alleviate the financial stress of the individual’s experience during that battle.”
The event also strives to aim a spotlight on the organization and its efforts within the flooring community to support its most vulnerable members, so those in need can benefit from its efforts. “We want people to know about FCIF in their time of need,” Blackbourn said. “The other thing they should know is that we have grants for six months—we provide anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars to each family—and then they can reapply after six months.”
Another goal of the event is to bring a personal touch to fundraising and allow those outside of large corporations to feel comfortable giving. “One of our goals is always to engage new people who are unfamiliar with FCIF,” Blackbourn said. “One Day to Give allows us to spread awareness to people who may not have an opportunity to participate in giving back to FCIF as individuals. We historically have relied on corporate contributions as the backbone to our annual giving, and One Day to Give is an easy opportunity for individuals to give whatever amount feels right for them to help others in the industry. From an individual perspective, it’s about helping your fellow man; it’s an opportunity to say, ‘I can chip in a little to help somebody else who is just like me but they’ve fallen on hard times.’”
Last year’s inaugural One Day to Give raised about $80,000 and the organization said it would be thrilled to continue to push that target. “Twenty five percent of the donations came from first-time donors,” Blackbourn noted. “I’d love to see an even larger percent come from first-time donors to FCIF this year. What’s more, among donors who renewed past contributions last year, 25% accepted the +10% challenge. Of course, we’d love to beat our goals from last year.”
In 2022 alone, FCIF provided 54 grants to families in the floor covering industry, awarding over $500,000 to help with doctor’s visits, surgeries, medical equipment, prescriptions and also basic needs such as mortgage, rent, utilities and food.
The success of One Day to Give relies on participants pushing out the campaign to their personal social networks to build momentum and gather support. To host your own campaign, reach out to Blackbourn at firstname.lastname@example.org or download the One Day to Give digital toolkit. To give visit: fcif.org/one-day-give.
Case study: Vic – Dalton, Ga.
When Victor (Vic) of Dalton, Ga., was diagnosed in June 2023 with osteoarthritis of the right midfoot, degenerative joint disease and contracture of muscle of the right lower extremity it caused him pain and difficulty with walking. Vic had been dedicated to the flooring industry for 37 years, working as an expeditor in a flooring manufacturing facility. His new diagnosis caused him to be out of work, which left his wife, Cheryl, the sole provider for their family.
Vic learned of the Floor Covering Industry Foundation (FCIF) through his human resources department. FCIF was able to help Vic and his wife with their mortgage, utilities and medical care. “I am thankful for the help of the Floor Covering Industry Foundation—not only did they help get us caught up on our past due mortgage payments, but they also helped with my medical expenses that were accrued due to my medical diagnosis,” Vic said.