Angels for Injured Workers (AIW) was incorporated as a California nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation on July 27, 2015. The creation of the organization was one year in the making and started as a group of conscientious workers who worked with injured workers and realized there was a serious gap in services and benefits. Once a worker is injured there is a lengthy process that takes place between the time of injury, litigation to commence, and then for claims to be approved.
During that length of time injured workers are submitted to a time period of financial stress and their entire families suffer the consequences of lack of resources to subsist. AIW first began with this group of workers coming together to make holidays not just bearable but enjoyable for eleven families in 2014. The families were chosen through a referral process from attorneys who were asked to submit families most at need. Turkeys were purchased for Thanksgiving, gifts were purchased for children of injured workers, and families were given a real holiday experience with volunteers helping to ensure the experiences were a success. Although the experiences were rewarding for all those involved—the injured workers, their families, and the group of volunteers—the group realized the depth of the problem was much greater and necessitated more resources and manpower. Injured worker families are falling apart, losing their homes, and unable to pay for necessities such as food and water and basic utilities during the period following an injury. For many injured workers and their families, a workplace injury creates a trap which leaves them less able to save for the future or to make the investments in skills and education that provide the opportunity for advancement.
Middle class families fall into poverty quickly. In addition, many injured workers cannot go back to work and/or have to be re-trained in different type of work. AIW was created to bring hope to these families during this sudden but lengthy time period. Specific activities will include: Assessment, vocational training, job placement, workshops, holiday experiences, and financial assistance for basic needs (food, shelter, and utilities).
The specific purpose and mission of AIW is to provide hope, resources, and services to injured workers and their families.
*Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Adding Inequality to Injury: The costs of failing to protect workers on the job. June 2015.