LL Flooring Teams with Rescuing Families
Most recently, we’ve had the honor of allying with New York-based organization Rescuing Families, which works with disabled and elderly households to make improvements that enhance comfort and accessibility.
Partnering with nonprofit organizations has been part of LL Flooring’s modus operandi for years. Most recently, we’ve had the honor of allying with New York-based organization Rescuing Families, which works with disabled and elderly households to make improvements that enhance comfort and accessibility.
Headquartered just a half hour outside of Manhattan, Rescuing Families covers costs and installation for everything from ramps, windows, and widening doorways to installing wheelchair-friendly flooring—which is where LL enters the scene.
We sat down with Rescuing Families co-founders Gina and Vincent Centauro to learn more about their organization and hear why partnerships with companies like LL Flooring are key to what they do.
LL: Tell us about your work with Rescuing Families.
RF: We started Rescuing Families seven years ago now. With our previous contractor work, we had been working with elderly and disabled families in the community, and we were seeing that some of their homes were in serious need of repair and renovation to make them accessible and safe.
After seeing so many families in need of life-changing renovations, we started volunteering to help with projects they needed at no cost. We get a lot of our work through local schools, social workers, and long term care and nursing facilities, but we also get referrals through word of mouth through social media and news coverage.
Depending on the project, one house can take between 3–6 months, and everything is volunteer-based so getting the right help can extend the timeline a little bit. We want to accommodate everybody, but we’re a small charity. And, when we plan out these projects, we always want to make sure that they can maintain the home well after we’re gone and that their property stays affordable—even with taxes and utilities.
What made you want to start an organization like this?
We’ve been licensed contractors in New York for 15 years now. Before we started the organization, we were working with these elderly and disabled families, and we were seeing that they couldn’t afford all of the improvements that needed to be made to make their homes safe and accessible.
Our aim with Rescuing Families was to help families like our own—I have a sister who is disabled, a father who is a Vietnam vet, and my mother had lung cancer. We understood the day-to-day struggles these families were facing, so we kind of picked up the baton and ran with it.
What’s the span of projects you’ve taken on with RF?
We’ll do an assessment of the home to find out the accessibility needs of the families (ramps, widening doorways, installing wheelchair-friendly floors), as well as structural things like roofing, windows, and landscape needs. We’re willing to really take on anything and everything to put these families’ minds at ease.
The goal is that we’re trying to make their lives easier with beautification, updating, and painting so that they can focus on their disabled family members and not the immediate maintenance of their home. Once we take on a family’s home, we pretty much go all in—we might start with a bathroom renovation and then end up redoing the entire first floor, plus a landscaping makeover.
How did you get connected with LL for the Lay it Forward partnership?
We first contacted LL Flooring about six years ago to see if they’d be interested in a partnership. We were familiar with LL products from our contracting work before, and we figured what better company to contact than someone we’ve worked with and used. Without hesitation, they jumped on board to lend a hand, and continue to do so to this day.
When it comes to flooring for our families, durability is the number one factor. For accessibility purposes, we first look at the weight of the wheelchair and determine which flooring is going to hold up to that—in our partnership with LL, we’ve found that their solid hardwood, engineered hardwood, and vinyl plank have stood up to the test. We also take into consideration the long-term maintenance, water resistance, and how the finish will hold up over time.
We are very fortunate to have a company like LL on board with us as we continue with this work, because without companies like that to support us, our mission wouldn’t be possible.
What’s your favorite part about the process with these projects?
From the time the project begins, the families don’t see the house until the final reveal, so it’s always incredible to see their faces and witness their excitement. Our favorite part of the renovation process is making a house accessible and livable where these families never thought it was possible.
We also love the community we’ve formed around this work. Often, members of the family before will come on-board to help with the next project, which isn’t shared until the big reveal. We’re just very proud of the community we’re building here, and again, we are very fortunate to have a company like LL on board with us as we continue with this work.
Give Today to help improve the home lives of families with disabilities through Rescuing Families, Inc.