It’s a point of pride to put a company sign on a jobsite; after all, helping build communities is what construction firms do best. Dallas-based Schwob Building Company’s presence on a local Friendly Chevrolet project turned out to be the gateway to a new community service opportunity with Children’s Medical Center Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization that serves as the fundraising arm for Children’s Health Systems of Texas. 

Audra Cozart, corporate development officer for the foundation, looked out her office window, saw Schwob’s sign on the jobsite across the street and decided to get in touch about participating in a new initiative called KIDstruction Week

Modeled after a highly successful program benefitting St. Louis Children’s Hospital, KIDstruction Week is an opportunity for North Texas AEC firms to partner with Children’s Medical Center Foundation to raise money for clinical care, research, innovative programs and community outreach. In 2016, proceeds specifically will help enhance vital family support services, such as social work, pastoral care, translation services, and pet, music and art therapy programs that are not covered by insurance. 

The formula is pretty simple: Participating companies offer their employees the opportunity to contribute, via payroll deduction, $1 for each hour worked during KIDstruction Week (or they could make a lump sum donation). Companies also can match employees’ gifts to demonstrate their commitment to the cause. Importantly, 100 percent of KIDstruction Week contributions go directly to the supported programs, with no deduction for overhead or administrative costs. 

Last March, the campaign brought in more than $56,000 from participating organizations: Associated Builders and Contractors’ TEXO Chapter, Chamberlin Roofing & Waterproofing, Schwob Building Company, Walter P Moore, McCarthy Building Company, Skanska USA, TDIndustries, Kent Companies, Alpha-Barnes Real Estate Services, Datum Engineers, Spring Valley Construction Company, PRDG, HDR, HKS and WHR Architects

“Our inaugural KIDstruction Week campaign’s success was fueled by the support of a highly engaged steering committee representing some of the most respected construction, design and architectural firms in North Texas,” says Dr. Kern Wildenthal, president of the Children’s Medical Center Foundation. “The active participation and support of the companies’ executives and employees—in KIDstruction Week and through many other events like the Red Balloon Run & Ride—continues to help us expand our philanthropic footprint in the region.” 

Adds Cozart: “The committee was initially composed of a few companies that had vendor relationships with Children’s and were seeking additional opportunities to support the hospital, but enthusiasm quickly grew thanks to TEXO’s support and the commitment and influence of committee members.” 

Twenty-two Schwob Building Company employees raised $2,170 through payroll deductions and online credit card donations, with the company matching that amount for a total gift of $4,340. Another $1,203 in donations came in through a subsequent raffle at the firm’s annual crawfish boil, bringing the total up to $5,543. 

“We were very happy to get engaged in such a worthy charity,” says Micah Davenport, chief estimator for Schwob Building Company. “As a company, we are very active in the community. We are the premier sponsor every year at the CBRE Chef Showcase benefitting special needs children and their families through Camp John Marc. We also help with Hearts and Hammers. Next year, we will incorporate the Children’s Medical Center fundraiser into one of our spring events for even greater participation.” 

Plans already are under way for the 2017 KIDstruction Week campaign, with a goal of doubling the number of companies and individuals participating next year. 

Joanna Masterson is senior editor of Construction Executive. For more information, email or follow @ConstructionMag