Since its establishment in early 2018, the FirstService Relief Fund has been a beacon of support for 2,314 of our team members, extending grants totaling $1,284,777. These grants have served as a lifeline for our colleagues facing personal financial crises due to an array of unexpected, often life-altering events. These challenges range from the loss of a family member and severe illnesses or injuries to major medical issues, the impact of natural disasters, and, tragically, incidents of domestic abuse or violent crimes. None of us are immune to the possibility of encountering personal financial hardships, which is why ensuring the Relief Fund is robustly funded remains paramount to our ability to assist our colleagues when they need it most.
“Caring for our own” isn’t merely a Relief Fund tagline; it’s a philosophy exemplified by many of our leaders each day. At Floor Coverings International, CEO Tom Wood and CFO Ben Pace are deeply committed to supporting team members across FirstService during their times of need. They have led the way in encouraging participation in the Relief Fund, with Floor Coverings International boasting the highest percentage of personnel donating through automatic payroll deductions – the simplest way to contribute to this invaluable employee benefit. So, how did Floor Coverings International achieve an impressive contribution rate of approximately 90%? Their approach boils down to one of their five core values: “Engage in the community and make it fun.” Through continuous communication and gamification strategies, Tom, Ben, and their team have infused a sense of enjoyment into the process.
This summer, they launched the “Summer of Shorts” campaign, where those who donated $100 or more to the Relief Fund earned the privilege of wearing shorts to the office for the summer. Donors contributing $500 or more enjoyed an even greater reward – they got to don jean cutoff shorts, or “jorts.” Everyone who contributed through automatic payroll deductions, even as little as $1 per pay period, received special FirstService Relief Fund flip flops. As the team recently achieved its goal of 90% payroll participation, they’re gearing up for the festive sight of crazy holiday sweaters for all.
“Our team enjoys being together and working towards lofty goals. When we really focus on making it fun… there is a sense of joy that emerges and amazing things happen. The Relief Fund is critical in times of need, and we’ve found that there can be true joy in being a part of it,” said Ben Pace.
While our organizations possess unique cultures, Tom encourages leaders to foster a fun environment that aligns with their specific workplace ethos. Ideas may include setting participation targets and rewarding achievement with food trucks, ice cream treats, or Uber Eats lunches for remote workers. For brands hosting annual conferences, consider incorporating a fundraiser into the event. Floor Coverings International, for instance, hosts a popular annual poker tournament, with the proceeds channeled directly to the Relief Fund. In the end, it’s about fostering a sense of camaraderie and giving within our FirstService family.
We invite all team members to support the FirstService Relief Fund in whatever manner works best for them. Automatic payroll donations are an easy way to contribute, and even just $1 a pay period makes a difference. Those preferring to make a lump sum donation have that option also. If you or a colleague is experiencing a personal financial hardship, please visit purpose.firstservice.com to learn how the FirstService Relief Fund may be able to help.