Originally founded as the MICCS Foundation in 2010 as part of its sister organization the Metropolitan Indianapolis Coalition for Construction Safety (MICCS), the Foundation became a standalone organization in 2014 and changed its name to the Construction Family Assistance Foundation to better reflect its mission.
The CFA Foundation was established as a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization to provide financial assistance to construction workers and their families who have been impacted by a life-changing construction jobsite incident.
Bob Wilson and two others were moving a large air handling unit through a parking lot when the loader came in contact with a 69,000-volt power line. Wilson lived, but he was severely hurt.
“My memory is foggy from the get-go all the way through the first probably six months,” Wilson said. “But there are certain things that I won’t ever forget.”
The CFA Foundation learned about Wilson’s accident and quickly sprang into action.
“Suddenly, there’s an army of angels walking down our driveway carrying Christmas presents, money, certificates, food, Colts gear. It was amazing. I couldn’t believe it,” Wilson said.
Krista Wilson, Bob’s wife, said, “They gave us more than money; they gave us hope, and the knowledge that people care and that there are people out there who want to do good,” said. “And by golly, I can’t believe that they just show up out of nowhere when you need them.”
When Bob Wilson eventually returned to work, he and his wife donated the remainder of his financial assistance money back to the CFA Foundation.
“We didn’t realize how much people out there in this world still care when tragedy strikes total strangers,” Wilson said. “Your caring and kindness are so uplifting. We want you to know how much you helped us during the holidays and days to come and how great you made us feel. Hopefully we can pay it forward.”
Led by a volunteer board of directors, the Foundation strives to be fiscally responsible to be able to provide financial assistance to individuals or families impacted by a construction or facilities maintenance related incident or loss of life beyond that of workers’ compensation, other insurance, or settlements.
“Our main goal is to help people as soon as possible after a catastrophic or life changing incident,” said Marcy Watson, Executive Director at the CFA Foundation. “We’ve always wanted to be that stopgap before insurance or workers comp or any of that money is available.”
Watson said the CFA Foundation aims to complete its entire application approval process within 10 business days of receiving an application.
“We've tried to set up the application in a way that allows us to gather all the information we need without having to follow up so we can expedite the process,” Watson said. “If there are questions, we certainly will reach out to the people who submitted and ask questions. But generally, our process is to receive that application, review it, submit it to the board with a recommendation for financial assistance, the board approves it, and we send the check out.”
Proceeds from local industry events such as AGC of Indiana’s Strike for Hope, BCA Fort Wayne’s Clay Shoot, and ISA’s Clay Shoot have gone to benefit the CFA Foundation. Companies like Gaylor Electric and ERMCO continually show support for the CFA Foundation by donating proceeds from their outings and sponsoring foundation events.
“It's always kind of an unusual dynamic in that we hope no one is ever involved in such a situation,” Watson said. “But if they are, we sure want them to know that we are here. Whether it's a family member, a coworker, a colleague, or the company themselves – a lot of times there can be hesitation. We don't want there to be any hesitation because there's no judgment and no strings attached. We're just here to help during a very, very difficult time.”