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  1. Building Community

    February 18, 2014 by Jeff Forrest

    Building communities is something we do everyday, however it’s our service, volunteering, and support of non-profit organizations of which we are most proud. At the end of January, WPC was able to support a local grassroots organization, which helps families with the unforeseen costs of cancer treatments, in a very unique way. WPC resident blogger and President, Jeff Forrest, passes the writing baton this month to employee and son, Jeffrey, as he tells a story of fighting cancer through a deck of cards.

    Welcome to my inaugural WPC blog. This should be easy to write since I’ll be talking about the same thing my old personal blog was about, poker. One of the best things about working here is the easy accessibility to working with different charities. In the past 6 months, I’ve helped build towers out of cans for Canstruction, began renovations on the new school for the Conductive Education Center of Orlando, and now played in a charity poker tournament for the Cancerbank. All have been great experiences in their own way.

    The Cancerbank charity poker tournament, held on Friday January 31st, was exciting because I could use skills I’d molded over the years for two families in need. I was actually able to play with one of the fathers we were helping in the event. He lost quickly but told us all about his young daughter with leukemia and thanked all of us individually for coming out and supporting him when he was in need. It gave me a little extra incentive to focus and play the best I knew I could.

    We started with 7,500 chips and within an hour I had almost 40,000, most of which was from a nice elderly woman sitting next to me. She didn’t mind so much when I told her who I was and the company I was representing. How, when asked to sponsor an ex-professional in a charity event, my coworkers pitched in a combined $360. That whatever was unused was still being donated, and whatever was won would be donated back to the charity. It gave me a great deal of pride to be there on behalf of WPC, and to know that it’s likely we wouldn’t have pitched in as much if I hadn’t played. Unfortunately, after another hour and a few bad runs of the cards, I was heading home early.

    In the end, the Cancerbank raised over $8,000 that night and 100% of that money will directly benefit the two families battling cancer. Nearly 100 poker players from the area came out to compete and support a great cause to help others in our community. I look forward to more of these events and will continue to look for opportunities in the near future provided by WPC.


  2. The Season of Giving

    November 12, 2013 by Jeff Forrest

    We are already in the second week of November and Thanksgiving is fast approaching. You may have heard me say before that this is one of my favorite holidays; there is nothing better than turkey sandwiches and pumpkin pie for days on end.

    This season is less about food, however, and more about gratitude and the WPC family certainly has much to be thankful for this year. In addition to the improved economic conditions that have increased our workload, we are thankful for our many clients who continue to put their trust in WPC and select us to be a part of their construction teams. We are grateful for the hard work of our subcontractors and vendors across Florida and the rest of the country, as well as their participation in our many philanthropic endeavors that allow us to give back to our community.

    Our most recent event was Canstruction Orlando, a design-build competition using canned and packaged foods as the materials for building theme-based structures. At the end of the competition, all of the food is donated to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. Our design was the recreation of the Give Kids the World Village logo, a 70-acre non-profit fantasy resort in the Orlando area that provides weeklong cost-free vacations to children and their families suffering from life-threatening illness. Our design supported this year’s theme of Orlando Can Be Magical. It was so well received from our subcontractors and vendors that through our joint efforts we donated 2,500 canned and packaged foods, as well as donated $2,000 to Give Kids the World Village. We are pretty excited to have been able to support 2 non-profit organizations through one event. (We also took 2nd place for Structural Ingenuity and earned the Daily City’s Biggest Heart Award).

    WPC will continue to give back to our community throughout the holiday season and the rest of the year. We are blessed to be able to make an impact in lives of those in need and I am proud of those WPC staffers that volunteer their time towards these causes.

    On a personal note, I just completed my first half marathon at the Santa Barbara International Veterans Marathon in California. It was a very cool accomplishment and one I hope to repeat many times in the future. This marathon falls on the weekend before Veterans Day and celebrates the many veterans around the world who have served our country. WPC is proud to support our veterans in many ways, including our involvement of the Home at Last program providing mortgage-free homes for wounded veterans and their families.

    One last thing to be thankful for: running that kind of elevated mileage increases my need for carbs, so I think I’ll celebrate (guiltlessly) with an extra spoonful of whipped cream on my second piece of pumpkin pie.

    Happy Thanksgiving.



  3. The Story of Contractors Who Care

    October 13, 2011 by Jeff Forrest

    I was never shy when it came to asking my friends, colleagues, vendors and clients for contributions to whatever cause I was raising money for. I wouldn’t ask very often, but I always felt the causes were worth every effort when I did ask. Yet in the back of my head, I knew more could be accomplished if I was able to reach a greater number of people. The idea was simple; it’s easier to ask 100 people for $100 dollars than to find 10 people to contribute $1,000. The key was reaching these100 people.

    When my father died in 1997, I thought it would be honorable to create a scholarship in his name for a student interested in the construction industry. In order to make that happen, I’d have to connect to another 100 people. This only meant one thing; I needed to reach more people.

    WPC regularly donates to worthy causes. At our peak when the economy was flourishing, we donated tens of thousands of dollars annually to various organizations. When the economy changed and we were forced to reduce our spending, I realized that it would take a collaborated effort in order to help those organizations in a time when they needed it most. One hundred people would no longer be enough. I would need to multiply the number of people I was connecting to. The only place I knew to turn was within my own industry. One with hundreds of thousands of companies, vendors and networked contacts, the construction industry was the answer. If I could reach out to a large portion of those people and get them to donate, on average, $100 each, then we could raise millions of dollars for worthy causes.

    Having had the idea in my head for at least ten years and having talked about it with friends and family for several years, the time had come to act. I presented the idea to my Harvard classmates in May of 2011 and received the advice, feedback and encouragement I needed to move forward.

    The question was how to galvanize such a large group of people behind the idea. How would I convince them that we needed to do this? I realized that the answer is in our DNA. It is our instinct to help people. Caring is part of who we are as humans beings. With that, I knew I needed to ask our industry to care, thus Contractors Who Care (CWC) was born.

    The next step was to cultivate a message with purpose and intent so that people would feel compelled to be involved with CWC. First and foremost, our goal is to give 100% of funds raised, back to our communities. Giving back to the communities in which we work, live and play is the cornerstone of this organization. We need to impact people that we see everyday and we want them to know we care.

    Initially, there are at least two areas where funds will be distributed:

      • Charitable Organizations:
        • Applications from people and charitable organizations requesting contributions will be accepted via the CWC web site, www.contractorswhocare.org. Those applications will be thoroughly screened to ensure their needs. The board will then vote on which ones will receive the funds raised during the calendar year.
      • College Scholarship
        • Funds will go towards scholarships named after my father, D.E. “Jim” Forrest. Applicants for the scholarship will be screened based on economic need as well as their desire to make a difference in our industry.



      As the organization grows, we will revisit each of these to ensure we are making a difference in the right areas and adjust the way funds are distributed to make the greatest impact.

      Contributors will be considered Members of Contractors Who Care. Membership is considered a Badge of Honor that allows companies to display the CWC logo with pride on their websites, marketing propaganda and job sites. Brand recognition would be enhanced for both CWC and the Members. Our industry will have a universally recognized symbol of caring that we can all be proud of.

      We will hold industry fundraisers allowing us to come together to increase awareness of the organization, to distribute funds to the selected charities and award the scholarship winners. The vision is that Contractors Who Care will grow to a national and, potentially, international level and caring will become synonymous with our industry.

      As I tell the story of Contractors Who Care to anyone who’ll listen, I receive resounding approval and anticipation from people inside and outside our industry. The idea has now become reality.  I know together we will make a difference.

      This is just the beginning of the story and I look forward to having you help me tell more of it as time progresses. Today, I ask you to care by staying tuned as the story of Contractors Who Care unfolds.

      The following social media sites and websites are active. Please care today by connecting with us:

      http://www.contractorswhocare.org
      http://www.facebook.com/ContractorsWhoCare
      https://twitter.com/ContractorsCare

      Contractors Who Care
      PO Box 940781
      Maitland, FL 32794

      P: 407-998-2050
      F: 321-594-6532
      E: info@contractorswhocare.org