Years ago my family and I were deeply moved by the film “Facing the Giants,” a story of a struggling coach and his underdog football team who confronted their fears and failures, ultimately achieving remarkable success.
One unforgettable sequence from the movie continues to resonate with me—the part when Mr. Bridges came to coach Grant Taylor and said: “I heard a story of two farmers praying to God for rain to come. Both prayed…but only one prepared the land. Who do you think trusted God more to send the rain?”
In the film’s climactic moment, Coach Taylor takes a daring risk, calling on an unlikely player to attempt an impossible field goal. When asked about this audacious move, he simply replied, “I’m preparing for rain.” In that pivotal instant, a strong breeze swept in, and Coach Taylor’s command to “Kick it now!” led to a triumphant victory against all odds.
I’ve recently found striking parallels between this story and the challenges we face at the Floor Covering Education Foundation (FCEF). Like Coach Taylor, we’re tasked with what seems an insurmountable challenge, often lacking support and encouragement. Daily reminders of potential failure surround us, and yet we persist.
Our purpose and mission at FCEF surpass the fear of failure. Despite understanding the monumental challenges, quitting is not an option; we must reach our goal. It’s during these most challenging moments that sweet victories arrive, renewing our purpose and fortifying our resolve.
FCEF was established to address the installation crisis and build a bridge to the future of our industry. For the first time in my four-decade career, I can confidently say some of our industry members recognize the need for dedicated support and innovative solutions. We’re creating programs that will transform lives and attract quality talent.
We’re achieving notable wins at FCEF. We’re implementing the basic floor covering installation program in various locations, including Albany, Ga.; Omaha, Neb.; and Chattanooga, Tenn., while expanding our list of colleges teaching the flooring program in Dalton and Atlanta as well as Waterloo, Iowa. Your support and donations enable us to provide scholarships for this college program and bolster local training programs for CFI, CTEF and NWFA.
Additionally, we recently received our first federal grant earmarked for specific counties in Alabama. This funding empowers us to establish the basic floor covering installation program in multiple colleges, offer support to employers hiring these installers and equip graduating students with startup toolboxes for their careers. Securing this grant is a crucial step, but it doesn’t eliminate our ongoing funding requirements to roll out this program nationwide.
The climactic moment in the movie was heart pounding because we had followed the team’s journey, witnessing their struggles and determination. Finally, we shared in their victories and accomplishments. As FCEF continues to develop programs that will propel our industry forward, we need your support to prepare for the “rain” of success. Your contribution will secure the victories our industry needs for a brighter future.
Kaye Whitener is director of operations for the Floor Covering Education Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting recruitment, training and retention of floor covering installers. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.