NWFA Completes 52nd Home with Gary Sinise Foundation
ST. LOUIS, Missouri (December 17, 2020) – The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) has provided flooring for its 52nd home in support of the Gary Sinise Foundation R.I.S.E. program (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment). The R.I.S.E. program builds custom, specially adapted smart homes for severely wounded veterans and first responders. The home dedication for Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor took place on December 9, in St. Louis, MO. Flooring for the project was donated by NWFA member Homerwood, with receiving and delivery donated by NWFA member Ambassador Floor Company.
Officer O’Connor graduated from the police academy in 1997, serving 12 years with the St. Louis County Police Department, before joining the Ferguson Police Department. On December 5, 2017, Officer O’Connor was transporting a burglary suspect when he was shot in the head with a hidden firearm. His injuries resulted in severe brain damage, the removal of part of his skull, and the paralysis of his right arm. He currently is learning to walk again, with assistance.
“Just two months after the shooting, Officer O’Connor was able to speak his first sentence,” says NWFA President and CEO, Michael Martin. “He said, ‘I just gotta’ get my badge.’ This clearly demonstrated that while he had a long recovery ahead, his will remained intact. We’re honored to partner with Homerwood and Ambassador to provide flooring for his new home.”
In addition to the 52 homes already completed, NWFA currently is working with its members to source wood flooring for 16 additional R.I.S.E. homes in various stages of planning and construction. Currently, 141 NWFA member companies have donated product, logistics, and installation services in locations throughout the United States, with a total value of more than $5.2 million. A list of all NWFA R.I.S.E. participating companies can be found at https://nwfa.org/giving-back.aspx.