Fox Plumbing Heating Cooling Electrical, Vernon, British Columbia, is nearly wrapped up with a special van wrap that donated 5 percent of gross revenue from the service vehicle throughout 2022 to a local charity.
“There were 44 nominated organizations from the community,” says Ted Fox Jr. who along with his wife, Sue, has run the home services business since 2012 – although Ted and his father, Ted Sr. opened the business from a single-car garage in 1999.
After Ted Sr. retired, the couple began to reimagine the Fox brand and set out to make a difference in the home services industry by creating a better place to work, offering people a real career and providing a better, more professional customer experience.
While Fox says he wishes he could personally visit every customer to make sure the work’s done right, he does the next best thing.
“We ask,” he adds. “We ask our customers for feedback, and we take that feedback very seriously.”
Following any repair or replacement work, the company calls its customer to check on the service.
“We’ll call – and maybe more than once – to check up on the work,” Fox says, “and we ask if anything could have been done better. If the feedback is positive, we’ll make sure to let the techs know they knocked it out of the park. If there’s something we can improve, we’ll fix it.”
Giving back to the community has always been important.
“It has been since the very beginning,” Fox adds. “We owe our success to the community’s support, so we continue to look for creative ways to give back.”
For 2022, Fox and his staff wanted to take their charitable giving to another level and dreamt up wrapping one of its service vehicles with the charity’s logo and then pledging 5 percent of the revenue earned by that truck throughout the year.
The work on the van wrap actually began a year ago this month. Fox gathered nominations from its employees, the public and the nonprofits themselves over the following several weeks.
“Our entire team is behind it,” Fox adds. “It’s great to hear what everyone’s passionate about, places where they volunteer or organizations that have helped someone they care about.”
The organizations picked for the contest all came from the company’s service area, making sure the money raised stays in the community.
“It’s not just about giving free advertising to a good cause,” Fox says. “We’re looking forward to learning about the charities that our staff and community care about, and want to build meaningful connections with these organizations doing the hard work in our community and learn about other ways we can help.”
Once the nominations were in, Fox set up a “March Madness” style bracket and a friendly “Wrap a Van for a Cause” competition ensued with the public voting through last December. After the field narrowed to four finalists, a panel of Fox employees chose the winner.
“It was an easy choice,” Fox adds. “The community spoke and we listened.”
Winning charity the North Okanagan Community Chaplaincy received more than 8,000 votes in the run up to the final decision.
The group has ministered to and provided services for marginalized people since Rev. Chuck Harper founded the organization in 2016.
“The NOCC hosts the Vernon Homeless Memorial every year to remember those who we have lost to homelessness,” Fox adds. “They provide mentoring and their focus for 2022 is to help people get into recovery. We’re proud to represent them as we answer service calls throughout the year.”
The wrapped van with the NOCC logo rolled out of the Fox lot last January.
In addition, Fox provided $500 donations each to three runners-up:
Vernon Homeless Outreach Team Association, a group of volunteers committed to improving the quality of life to the men and women living on the streets of Vernon. Volunteers conduct weeknight walks pulling carts around the city handing out food and hygiene products to the homeless. Group members are also trained to administer Narcan, a prescription medicine used to treat opioid overdoses.
Vernon Search & Rescue, which provides search and rescue services to the North Okanagan region of British Columbia, which covers more than 4,660 square miles. VSAR currently has approximately 60 members and volunteers more than 6,000 person-hours per year with tasks, administration and training. VSAR is considered one of the “anchor” units in the Province of British Columbia and routinely conducts 60-80 missions annually.
Starfish Backpack Program, which is part of the Rotary Club of Kalamalka and has addressed food insecurity in the Vernon area since 2016. The program provides school-aged children with a weekend backpack of nonperishable, easy-to-prepare meals for two breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners, along with fresh fruit and snacks. For the 2021-2022 school year, the program distributed more than 150 backpacks across 17 schools in the community.
Fox is currently planning next year’s van wrap.
This feature is part of our Plumbers Giving Back series, sponsored by the the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO).