How Do We Do It?

Dave Parker, owner of Charlotte plumbing company E.R. Plumbing Services, has always cared about those living in poverty in the Charlotte area. His company and staff is known for its year-round participation in charitable efforts such as: Room in the Inn (providing shelter and resources for the homeless and those in need), local food drives, local winter coat drives, school supply drives and multiple donations through which the company has given away water heaters (through sweepstakes).

“A whopping 36.7 percent of working families in Charlotte are under the 200 percent poverty line, meaning one or both parents are working and yet their familial income is under the 200 percent poverty line,” Parker says. “Families in such a situation are doing the best they can, but unavoidable expenses like food, clothing, transportation and housing take up the majority of their income. Approximately 40 percent of the families in our metro area struggle to make ends meet.”

Now the Charlotte plumber is looking to give back on a daily basis to the metro area. The company is introducing this effort through a new mascot.

“Most 24/7 plumbers charge extra for evening, weekend and holiday service calls,” Parker says. “This puts the typical working family at a disadvantage. If mom and dad both work full-time, they can’t afford to take a day off to get plumbing service. If people have to take time off during the day, they end up paying in two ways: they forfeit making money at work that day plus they have to pay for the plumbing service. In some cases, they may risk losing a job because they are simply trying to keep hot water in their house or deal with a plumbing emergency.”

Parker set the company up in such a way as to alleviate this problem. “Most plumbing companies charge extra when supplying evening, weekend or holiday service because it costs them extra staff those hours. Our technicians work in shifts, meaning our company is always staffed. E.R. Plumbing Services as a company absorbs those costs instead of passing on those costs to the customer.”

E.R. Plumbing Services is reflecting this policy through a rebranding effort showcased by the introduction of a mascot — a friendly truck that can be seen speeding through town to provide emergency plumbing services.

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