Every day, our skilled trade professional customers face problems. Their customers call with one emergency after another. "A pipe burst, and my kitchen is flooded. I have company arriving for a dinner party in two hours. Please help!" "It's 98 °C, and my HVAC system died. My elder mother moved in last weekend. Can you come now?"
It would be easy for our customers to settle on the sense of hopelessness. But instead, they inspire Ferguson associates daily to lively generously. When they visit our residential trade, commercial, HVAC, waterworks and industrial counters to consult about a project and pick up a part, their optimistic, jovial "can do" and "together we build better" attitudes prove that we must work as a collective community to overcome challenges. You think, "What can I do?" Indeed.
Ferguson is answering the question, "what can we do? by providing significant resources and supplies as one of many ways to strengthen the communities we serve. It's more than our Ferguson Cares mission – it's part of our business and a value our associates and teams eagerly embraced. We believe and live, "Together we build better."
Ferguson's Business Development team recently donated nearly $520,000 worth of new tools to SkillsUSA state chapters, Rebuilding Together affiliates and Good360. Through a network of organizations, these tools will do good works in our communities:
- SkillsUSA’s vision is a highly skilled workforce. Providing tools to aspiring skilled trade professionals provides new educational opportunities, improving the future skilled trade workforce.
- Tool donations routed through the Rebuilding Together affiliates provide free critical health and safety repairs and accessibility modifications for low-income, disabled, senior, and veteran homeowners at no cost, using the services of volunteers and contractors.
- Good360, the global leader in product philanthropy and purposeful giving, distributes the tools with its own diverse nonprofit network to support its defined purpose, creating new opportunities for the communities where they operate.
Give what you have to someone, it may be better than you dare to think. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Ferguson’s culture is deeply rooted in our commitment to take care of our customers, our associates and the community. Ferguson Cares is part of the company's overall Sustainability program and seeks to build partnerships with transformational nonprofit organizations within clean water and sanitation, housing, the skilled trades and our hometown, our four key focus areas.
"All our nonprofit partner organizations are excellent stewards. Generally, nonprofits are renowned for performing with restricted budgets and minimal personnel," says Melissa Hazelwood, senior Ferguson Cares manager. "That doesn't mean when it comes to providing housing or services for the communities they serve, they can or should skimp on quality. Everyone deserves to live with dignity and respect."
Melissa says it is essential to change the narrative about in-kind donations within the nonprofit community, whether to the organization or an individual. "When I first became a mom, friends shared baby items that their children could no longer use. I was so excited and appreciated their thoughtfulness. I was more connected to them and their children through their act of generosity."
Melissa said experiencing first-hand how generosity connects you to a larger community informs her philosophy and approach to Ferguson Cares. "Nonprofits and their communities no longer look at items as hand-me-downs. Some nonprofits are labeling items as vintage! Perhaps the phrase should be, 'hand me next?'"
"Hand me next" tools
"When Ferguson recently concluded a test program of power and hand tools, we concluded with a surplus of new, unopened tools. Therefore, the decision of how to distribute the remaining inventory was easy," explained Jeff Puckette, Business Development Manager – Residential Trade. "We hoped that these tools would provide a solid foundation in developing aspiring trade professionals and fulfill a great need for our nonprofit partners. Supporting our future industry leaders and communities has always been and will continue to be a top priority for Ferguson."
"We are so grateful for the donation of tools from Ferguson," commented Jesse Porter, Executive Director of Rebuilding Together Austin. "Not only are tools and tool replacement a consistent need for our organization, but this donation also allows us to put more of our resources towards essential repairs that keep our neighbors in need safe in their homes."
We're building a future everyone is proud of by living generously at Ferguson. The benefits are far-reaching – for both the giver and recipient and the community at large. Everyone deserves to have the ability to live in safe housing with happiness and self-respect. We challenge our associates, our customers and the community to live generously and give back to their communities by sharing their "hand me next" items. It's an opportunity to offer something of considerable value to your community.