A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Industry Organization Cares for Their Own [VIDEO]

“AWCI members are good people, but sometimes bad things happen to good people,” begins this eight-minute video about a program called AWCI Cares.  The informational video explains how members of the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry (AWCI) who are met with unexpected financial difficulties may be eligible to receive assistance.

The “CARES” stands for Caring Action Relief in Emergency Situations, and many members of AWCI are unaware that this program exists.  It is designed to provide members and their families financial aid following unexpected expenses such as medical bills, funeral expenses, home loss through fire or natural disaster, or to fill the gap when workers’ compensation insurance does not cover all necessary expenses.

A brochure for the program explains who is eligible to apply for assistance from AWCI Cares:

“The program’s funds are available to the employees and families of AWCI member companies who have experienced a major illness, accident or hardship beyond their insurance and financial capabilities.”

In the video, one grant recipient talks about her experience with the program after health issues, the economy, and divorce all combined to rob her of financial stability.  She saw a flyer for AWCI Cares, asked her supervisor about the program, and filled out the application paperwork.  A few weeks later, the organization contacted her, and after speaking with her, their committee voted to pay off the remainder of her debt.  This was the extra leg up she need to get her finances back on track and allow herself and her daughter to move out of her parents’ home where she had been living temporarily.

John Hinson, Division President of Marek Brothers Systems, Inc. and AWCI Board of Directors member, explained how much the AWCI Cares assistance made a difference for the family of an employee who missed weeks of work after suffering from a stroke:

“Taking the stress off of [the family], worrying about how they were going to make payments while he was lying in a hospital bed, that is comforting to know that he has an employer and an association that helps him that way.”

The program keeps the identity of the applicants confidential.  Only one person from AWCI Cares knows the identity of each person, and the committee makes grant decisions without knowing who those grants are for.  Approved money is paid directly to the creditors and not to the applicant.

Employers are encouraged to support this program by ensuring that all employees are aware that this program is available when needed, to encourage those in need to fill out the application, and to contribute financially to the program whenever possible.

Rob Waterhouse, 2010-2012 Foundation President, has this to say:

“Through all the challenges of the last handful of years in this industry, we are still among the most fortunate people on earth.  Yet, we have people in our very industry who are some of the most unfortunate, and who have had difficult things happen to them.  We have not only an opportunity to help; we have an obligation to help.  This wonderful organization of AWCI, this great foundation that we support – AWCI brings that all together.  We don’t want to miss the opportunity.”

For more information, watch the video below, or contact the AWCI Cares Program at 703-538-1608, email: awci-cares@awci.org.


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