FirstService Relief Fund Provides Peace of Mind to Employee Recovering from Emergency Surgery

CD works as a financial analyst with FirstService Residential New York. When she learned about the FirstService Relief Fund, she elected to set up automatic payroll donations so she could help colleagues facing personal financial crises. She never expected to find herself in need of a grant just a few years later.

CD recently experienced a medical emergency requiring surgery and hospitalization. We all know how quickly hospital bills can add up, and they can be financially crippling, even with good health insurance. While she was coping with her recovery, the mounting hospital bills created a lot of added stress and anxiety for her.

“I’m very grateful for the Relief Fund. Knowing that I would receive financial help to get me through a very difficult time gave me peace of mind,” said CD.  “The process of applying was very straightforward, and I would encourage anyone who finds themselves in need of a grant to carefully review the instructions and make sure you have the proper documentation when you submit your application.”

In order to receive a grant, applicants must provide proof of financial hardship and be able to produce invoices that support their claim. We have put together a handy Application Checklist & Process Overview  which we encourage everyone to review. Knowing what is required to receive a grant will help streamline the process and ensure grant recipients are paid quickly. In fact, when an applicant is able to provide all necessary documentation, grants can be approved and paid in as little as a week, which is a tremendous help to those facing financial hardship.

The FirstService Relief Fund was established to help employees and employees of franchises who are facing financial hardship immediately after a disaster or unforeseen personal hardship. Grants range from $500 to $3,000 and are paid directly to vendors such as hospitals and landlords. If you are facing personal hardship we encourage you to consider the FirstService Relief Fund. And if you are able to donate, please consider doing so. Every dollar donated goes to help our people in need, and no amount is too small. For more information, please visit www. firstservicerelief.com.

Floor Coverings International Helps Feed Needy Families

In March, 2020 Solidarity Sandy Springs was founded as a food pantry to provide assistance to families facing food insecurity during COVID shutdowns. Over time it has grown to also help provide school supplies for children. Support from the community has been inspiring, and today Solidarity Sandy Springs receives donations from schools, churches, synagogues and companies, as well as individuals. The support from the community has allowed the organization to obtain a van which is used to pick up donations throughout the community.

In August, the team at Floor Coverings International launched a donation drive to support Solidarity. The company hosted a potluck luncheon and encouraged team members to bring in donations for Solidarity Sandy Springs. The event generated more than four shopping carts filled with groceries and other essentials for families in need. 

Floor Coverings International volunteers hard at work sorting items for Solidarity Sandy Springs

Lee Smith of Floor Coverings International is joined by representatives from Solidarity Sandy Springs

Truck bed filled with donated food items

Loading the truck with much needed food items for needy families

“Solidarity was THRILLED with our donations,” said Lee Smith, corporate bookkeeper at Floor Coverings International. “We are looking forward to hosting another donation drive to support this great organization in the future.”

For information on how you can help Solidarity Sandy Springs, please visit their website

Earth Day 2021: Sustainability Tips from California Closets Team Members

We’d like to thank Sara Scoville and Michael Swalberg from California Closets for sharing some of their tips for living more environmentally friendly lifestyles. Hope you enjoy this short video!      

Paul Davis: Bringing local businesses together to assist Texas snow and ice storm victims

In the wake of the February 2021 snow and ice storm that caused extensive damage and power loss in parts of Texas, Paul Davis’ Emergency Response Coordinator Scott Brooks felt like he needed to do something to help. Upon learning many residents had to boil snow for drinking water to survive, he decided to launch a water donation drive.

Scott quickly got to work making calls to Jacksonville, Florida-area news stations, churches, grocery stores and beer distributors. Before long, he was receiving water donations from companies including Winn-Dixie. He was also able to secure donated beer trucks from Champion Brands to deliver the water.

“Many of our teams were going to Texas to assist in restoration efforts. One of our serving basics is to help those in need, so organizing a water donation drive felt like the right thing to do,” said Scott.

Scott even received help from the Cajun Navy, a non-profit group of volunteers who deploy to disaster areas throughout the southern United States, to deliver the donated water.

In all, 1373 cases of water were delivered to Houston and Houston area residents.

The donation drive is just one proof point of how Scott embodies our Social Purpose. Each year he organizes a charity golf tournament to raise money and awareness for the National Fallen Firefighters Association. The 2021 event, which is in the active planning stages now, will be scheduled for the end of August or early September and will be held at Eagle Landing in Jacksonville.

LIV North: Donates Outdated Service Vehicles to Homeless Cars

When 14 of LIV North’s service vehicles commercial lives came to an end the leadership team knew they had a useful purpose for someone.

So the leadership team at LIV North coordinated a donation to Homeless Cars, a Canadian charitable foundation that accepts used vehicles and donates the proceeds of their sale to food banks and local food shelters. 

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California Closets: Transforms a multi-use space at transitional home in Phoenix

For  individuals or families facing a domestic crisis, a next step can be terrifying. So often, people feel paralyzed, not knowing where to turn for help. That’s where Mesa, AZ-based A New Leaf’s Autumn House program comes in.

Autumn House Before

The dated multi-purpose room lacked warmth and personality before the California Closets team arrived

Autumn House After

The California Closets team transformed a dreary space into a warm, inviting area for residents to use

California Closets team responsible for Autumn House remodel

L-R: Aaron Pieratt, PHX Sales Manager; Amy Wenger, Local ASID Chapter President; and Janet Hutchinson, PHX GM. Note: This project was completed prior to COVID

Before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of the country – and world – California Closets of Phoenix assisted in transforming a multi-use space at Autumn House so that it could better serve its transitional residents.

Phoenix GM Janet Hutchinson and team were converted a social room into a warm, welcoming, and peaceful place for residents to go to for social and life skills activities. This area is used for residents to receive coaching on everything from high school GEDs and college diplomas to employment, healthy lifestyles, and adult self-sufficiency.

In addition, California Closets built out a beautiful new media center where a large screen TV, books, and reference materials could be stored. Hanging barn door sliders were added to conceal the television when not in use.

Autumn House has been providing safe shelter to the community for almost 40 years and was the East Valley’s first domestic violence shelter. It operates 24/7 in a confidential location, accepting survivors all times of the year.

“We are so proud to have been a part of this amazing project,” said Janet, “and to support men and women in our community who have been affected by domestic violence.”

 Janet and her team display what it truly means to design better lives, and bring California Closet’s CREDO to life. 

California Closets: Tennessee Team Kicks Off the New Year with Service

California Closets TN food drive

L-R: Adam Edwards (Design Consultant); Tom Maline (Director of Operations); Jeff Costa (Plan Engineer); Lana Reed (Sales Manager); Kurt Schuterman (owner); Nick Aprile (Installer).

To show their appreciation to the community for supporting their business, team members from California Closets Nashville volunteered at the Second Harvest Food Bank following their Kick Off Meeting earlier this month.

Every day, Second Harvest needs help to sort and pack food donations, as well as prepare backpacks for hungry kids. The group ended up sorting nearly 5,000 pounds of food – enough to feed 3,745 people in need!

The Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee has been operating for 43 years with the purpose of providing a central distribution center for companies, groups, and individuals who wished to help provide food for hungry people. The Nashville team has made it an annual tradition to give their time to Second Harvest.

CC TN Owner Kurt Schusterman adds, “A significant part of our culture at California Closets Nashville is to utilize our Time, Talents, and Treasures to give back to our community. Helping out at Second Harvest is a wonderful way for our team to work on something outside of our usual work environment while making an impact for those in need.”

We salute this inspiring way Kurt and his team started the year. You are truly leading with the California Closets Credo.

Poolman and All Florida Pools Provide Necessities to Homeless Citizens

During the recent holiday season, team members at Poolman and All Florida Pools came up with a novel way to make a difference for homeless members of their communities.  Technicians in Florida, Phoenix, Tucson, San Diego, Texas and Las Vegas were given bags and backpacks containing essential supplies including personal hygiene items, socks, water and certain proteins for food. During their routes, they distributed these bags to homeless community members.
“I have always believed that it is better to Give… Give… Give… before you Get… Get… Get…! Having served on a board that serves the homeless population, I gained first hand knowledge of the critical state that this group lives in on a day-to-day basis,” said President, Residential Aquatics, Vic Valentine. “These are not just homeless people; they are sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers. What a better idea than to rally the troops and not only give to individuals in need, but also serve together for a greater purpose than ourselves. Serving the homeless is a great life lesson in humility as well!”
In total, 672 bags were distributed, making our homeless community members more comfortable and showing them that people care about their wellbeing.

TLS: Holiday “Cariboulation” Food Drive Exceeds Goals

LS CariboulationTLS recently concluded its Caring Celebration, or “Holiday Cariboulation,” to collect food for local food banks.

The team TRIPLED its goal of donating 500 items —  collecting 2442 food items/dollar donations for local food banks. TLS generously matched that number and is donating $2,442 to a local food bank. When it came time to deliver the items, Santa himself, joined by his favorite “reindog,” helped distribute the donated food.

We’d like to thank everyone for their participation in this great cause. Now more than ever food banks need support and this is a wonderful way to #FirstServeOthers.

 
TLS Cariboulation 2
 

Paul Davis: Supporting Autism Awareness is a Family Affair

For Kali Freeland, supporting Autism awareness is personal. Kali’s cousin, Mandy Conner, founded Northeast Florida Advocates for Autism and Related Disabilities. Mandy started her organization to raise awareness and funds for families in NE Florida with Autism and Related Disabilities. Mandy’s daughter Katelyn loves riding in golf carts, which inspired Mandy’s idea to organize a Golf Cart Poker Run for Autism. 

Saturday, September 26th was the 7th Annual Katelyn’s Golf Cart Poker Run for Autism.  Participating golf carts visit 5 stops around the Pirates Woods area of Fernandina. Police blocked the streets for 173 participating golf carts this year! At each stop, participants would draw one poker card and compete for the best hand. All cards / scoresheets were safely collected, and the winner was announced at the end of the day.

The event raised $35,000 this great cause! 

“I am always proud to volunteer at this event with my family,” said Kali. “This year, I was proud to include Paul Davis slap bracelets in the event bags and represent our brand at this wonderful event!”