The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) has partnered with the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program, which builds smart homes for veterans who have sacrificed their health, many losing multiple limbs during their military service.
Gary Sinise, founder of the organization, will speak at NWFA’s Wood Flooring Expo in April to officially launch the partnership.
“Gary’s participation during Expo this year coincides with the event’s ‘Play it Forward’ theme,” said Michael Martin, NWFA's president and CEO. “While we will mark NWFA’s 30th anniversary during Expo, we also are looking forward as an association and an industry, in business and in how we contribute to society. This collaboration is a significant step, as an organization with 3,000 member companies, to pay forward our knowledge, skills and resources.”
NWFA’s partnership with the R.I.S.E. program is a long-term opportunity to benefit veterans, according to Martin. NWFA member manufacturers including Mannington Wood Floors, Mullican Flooring, Sheoga Hardwood Flooring, Somerset Hardwood Flooring, WD Flooring and American OEM will provide materials. Distributors and contractors in the communities where homes are being built will also become involved in the process, creating locally based support for building the homes.
“A lot goes into the building of these smart homes and we are tremendously grateful to our generous partners who lend their support to the Gary Sinise Foundation's R.I.S.E. program,” said Sinise. “NWFA is playing a crucial role in making these homes a reality for those who have sacrificed so much in defense of our freedom and I thank them for standing with us in support of our wounded service members.”
NWFA members will participate in projects for up to 15 homes per year, and will partner with manufacturers that match the U.S.-based manufacturing requirements of the R.I.S.E. program.
“I know the Gary Sinise Foundation’s infrastructure is in place to construct these smart homes in an efficient and economical manner,” said Barbara Titus, Sheoga's vice president. “I have seen firsthand the difference these projects make in the life of the veteran and his or her family. We are proud to be part of this partnership between NWFA and R.I.S.E. I look forward to other NWFA members joining the effort.”
Martin added, “While we, as a wood flooring association, can of course, contribute flooring products and labor, it’s not about that aspect as much as it’s about giving back a veteran his mobility and dignity. It’s something all U.S.-based organizations should be willing to do for men and women who have lost their personal freedom of mobility by defending our collective freedom."
For more information, visit nwfa.org and garysinisefoundation.org.
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