Earlier this week I had lunch with newly married Kristi Ronyak, now Kristi Gibbs, Founder of Construction Angels. For those of you not familiar with Construction Angels, they are a National Non-Profit Organization created to provide immediate financial assistance and grief counseling to the children and spouse left behind when a construction worker suffers a fatality on the jobsite.
Over the years—and again at our lunch meeting—Kristi has shared stories with me about some of the many families who had suddenly lost loved ones and how Construction Angels had stepped in to help. We discussed the growth of the organization since she first founded it in 2011. We also celebrated the growth of Construction Angels and the desire to help more families in construction that lose a loved one in a jobsite fatality.
According to OSHA, the national average of fatalities in construction is now at thirteen per day. You can view the statistics by clicking here. Most of the deaths in construction are from the OSHA Fatal Four Hazards which include Electrical Hazards, Fall Hazards, Struck-By Hazards, and Caught-In or -Between Hazards.
Kristi and I went on to discuss that the majority of the donations currently come from the Heavy Civil and Underground construction community, despite equal requests for donations going to both the Vertical and Civil market segments. This surprised me as the vertical contractors are known to be a generous community. Iresponded to Kristi by suggesting the possibility that these communities may not be aware of how they can help Construction Angels. Thus, here lies the reason we decided to write this article. Hopefully, my point will be proven and at my next lunch with Kristi I will be able to hear about how the generous and proactive vertical contracting community stepped up to the plate!
Although initiated in Florida in 2011, Construction Angels now has a legal non-profit status in seven states: Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland/DC, Michigan, and Ohio.
Here are some ways you can help them be able to facilitate more services in their existing states along with launch in other states in 2019 and upcoming years:
Donations can be made directly on the Construction Angel’s website, or they have forms available for download where you can make a one-time donation or a national monthly donation for as low as $14 a month.You can also make a donation to be used for families in a designated state. Another great way to help Construction Angels is to participate, host, or donate to one of the many events listed on the website by State. If you like parties, they even have an upcoming Masquerade Gala where donors are flying in from across the country to attend on February 23, 2019.
Can you imagine getting that dreaded phone call that a family member, friend, colleague, employee, or relative has been killed on the jobsite where they are working to provide for their family? Not only is the life gone, but often the sole income or head of household to the family. Your donations to Construction Angel’s—whether as an individual or as a corporate donor—helps more than you ever want to know first-hand.
Construction Angels has a new employee payroll deduction program. For as little as $1 a week an employee’s family will be guaranteed a $5000 donation if, God forbid, the employee were to suffer a jobsite fatality. That’s only $52/year! Also, the employer is able to match their employee donations to any amount they like and it’s all tax-deductible!
Although we have supported Construction Angels with one-time donations and have supported them at their events over the years, my meeting with Kristi touched my heart to up our support to a monthly contribution. We hope all of you will do the same so another eight years from now Kristi can report that they were able be there for every immediate surviving family member of a construction worker who has lost their life while working on a jobsite.
Thank you for first encouraging safety in the workplace and secondly for your donation to help when the unimaginable occurs. Your donations are tax deductible and industry tangible.
Give a present to represent those that unfortunately will not be present with their families this holiday.
Happy Holidays to you and yours,