Acts of kindness

Many communities get by with a little help from NRCA friends


"Remember there is no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end."
—Scott Adams, "Dilbert" comic strip creator

The opportunity to help others is something NRCA members rarely dismiss. The help provided often can involve difficult and labor-intensive tasks, but NRCA members are no strangers to a challenge. Many NRCA members believe it is a call of duty to help their communities and share their roofing knowledge with social and professional networks. If you ask an NRCA roofing professional what he or she did during the past year to make life better for someone, chances are you will hear not just one or two examples but many.

From donating labor, materials and money to installing roof systems and hosting fundraisers, NRCA members are among the most caring individuals in the industry. They perform acts of kindness simply to help other people, not for recognition.

Every August, Professional Roofing attempts to collect some of these stories of generosity and share them. Following is a glimpse at the acts of kindness NRCA members have performed during the past year to help their communities.

Getting into the spirit

In 2013, Cleveland-based The Garland Co. Inc.'s employees raised $40,000 to support the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation during the company's fourth annual Spirit Week. This year, Garland employees outdid themselves and used creative activities to raise more than $54,000 for the Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity.®

For its fifth annual Spirit Week held May 27-30, about 100 Garland employees dedicated the week to raising money to support Habitat for Humanity by holding various fundraising activities. At the end of the week, the employees raised $27,000 in their efforts to provide safe, affordable housing to local families in need. Inspired by the generosity of its employees, Garland's board of directors matched the funds raised, bringing the total to $54,173.

"Garland's generosity of funding and employee time is extremely meaningful," says John Habat, executive director for Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity. "Here is a company that is making a significant investment in its own neighborhood and providing affordable home ownership opportunities for families ready to fulfill that dream."

In addition to financial contributions, Garland's corporate employees are volunteering throughout the summer to rehabilitate a Habitat for Humanity partner home in Cleveland's Fairfax neighborhood.

No roof left behind

In Wisconsin, Kulp's of Stratford LLC, Stratford, Wis., installed a new roof system for a local resident through No Roof Left Behind,™ a nationwide program that provides a way for people to help their neighbors who have fallen on hard times. Nominations for families in need of new roof systems were accepted between March 1, 2013, and July 19, 2013; nominations included a photo of the nominee's current roof and a statement about why he or she deserved a new roof.

Kulp's of Stratford narrowed the nominations to a few finalists, and the public voted for the winning project. In October 2013, Dani Wichlidal of Wausau, Wis., received a new GAF® Timberline HD® Barkwood asphalt shingle roof system. No Roof Left Behind's national sponsor GAF, Wayne, N.J., provided the materials, and Kulp's of Stratford installed the roof system.

Expressing her gratidude, Wichlidal recently posted the following on the No Roof Left Behind website: "Wow! This is such a huge relief knowing I have a roof over my son's head. Thank you to Kulp's of Stratford for what you do!"

Hooked on a cure

In Everman, Texas, employees at Tri-Lam Roofing and Waterproofing Inc. were busy hosting a fishing tournament to support a cure for breast cancer. Participants competed in teams of four to receive first-, second- and third-place prizes in three categories within guided and nonguided divisions.

Following the competition, participants received T-shirts, tank tops and other giveaways and were treated to a barbecue courtesy of Tri-Lam Roofing and Waterproofing to thank them for their support. Gold, Silver and Copper sponsors helped make the event a success, and all proceeds benefited the Breast Cancer Foundation.

Teaching kindness

And in Arlington, Texas, after a beloved preschool teacher began having medical issues requiring numerous hospital stays, it was determined black mold in her home developed after a tree fell and damaged the roof, contributing to her breathing problems.

After she made several attempts to repair the roof damage, the situation worsened and the teacher's home became uninhabitable. Soon after, church members raised money to begin the process of rebuilding the home. When the time came to install the new roof system, the North Texas Roofing Contractors Association (NTRCA) stepped in to donate the needed materials and labor.

"Community service is a major part of NTRCA's mission," says Karen Vermaire Fox, NTRCA's executive director. "The NTRCA board unanimously agreed to adopt this project, and we look forward to providing a safe, secure, beautiful roof for the home."

Because of NTRCA's act of kindness, the devoted preschool teacher now can begin her journey to recovery in a healthy environment.

Roofing angels

The Walter Parker Co. LLC, Albuquerque, N.M., began answering prayers through its recently created Roof Angel Project, a program to give back to its community the best way it knows how—making roof system repairs.

After reviewing several candidate projects, the company selected the Center Against Family Violence, El Paso, Texas, a nonprofit organization providing emergency shelter to families in need, as the recipient of much-needed roof repairs. The facility's 8,000-square-foot low-slope built-up and steep-slope asphalt shingle roof systems were in poor condition, and multiple leaks had become a constant source of stress for the organization and its temporary residents.

After learning the organization was unable to obtain the necessary funding, a four-person Walter Parker crew volunteered to perform the necessary roof system repairs. Thanks to the Walter Parker roof angels, for the first time in several years, the organization can provide a dry, safe environment for families during a crisis and put them back on the road to new beginnings.

A bite out of lyme disease

In Virginia, Sterling-based DryHome Roofing & Siding Inc. held its third annual Loudoun Lyme 5K/1M run and informational fair at the Loudoun Valley High School in Purcellville. More than 630 runners and walkers, including some four-legged ones, participated in the event to raise money and awareness about the tick-borne disease. Many participants were there to show support for relatives and friends suffering from the difficult-to-diagnose illness. The 5K/1M run included an informational fair with more than 20 vendors, including doctors, veterinarians, pest companies and the Loudoun Health Department, a children's Fun Zone with games and prizes, a silent auction, raffles and merchandise.

The event raised $50,000 to benefit the National Capital Lyme Disease Association, which used the money to create and print a children's book about Lyme disease to be distributed to pediatrician offices. The funds also were used to author and help pass legislation, Virginia HB 1933, The Lyme Disease Testing Information Act, to ensure Virginia residents are adequately informed about the limitations in the existing serological tests used to detect Lyme disease in its early stages.

As a direct result of DryHome Roofing and Siding's act of kindness, the bill will save lives and thousands of dollars of avoidable medical costs by providing physicians with an easy, inexpensive and reliable way to provide patients with the information they need to make informed decisions about their own health care.

Creating scholars

In Baltimore, Cole Roofing Co. Inc. has a passion for helping children and young adults attend college. In 2010, the company approached Carson Scholars Fund, a scholarship program for students who have embraced high levels of academic excellence and community service, with a creative business partnership. While working on a number of roofing contracts for schools, Cole Roofing sought a way to give back to those schools in a meaningful way and began directing its school roofing profits to the Carson Scholars Fund to recognize and reward students in grades 4-11. Winners are designated Carson Scholars and receive a $1,000 college scholarship.

During the past four years, 10 Maryland students have been named Carson Scholars thanks to Cole Roofing's generosity. This year, Cole Roofing took its generosity to another level and made a commitment to name an additional five scholars.

Preserving Reagan's legacy

On the West Coast in Santa Barbara, Calif., is Rancho del Cielo, a 688-acre ranch atop the Santa Ynez Mountains. The ranch was President Ronald Reagan's home for 25 years and served as the "Western White House" for eight years.

Fifteen years ago, Young America's Foundation, an organization committed to ensuring increasing numbers of young Americans understand and are inspired by the ideals of individual freedom, came forward to save the Reagan Ranch as a presidential site and partnered with thousands of supporters to preserve the national treasure.

The most recent project was a complete roof system replacement on the main ranch home. Longtime Young America's Foundation supporters Johnny and Pam Zamrzla, Western Pacific Roofing Corp., Palmdale, Calif., donated the materials and labor. Managed by the Zamrzlas, the project included exact replacements of the original tiles used by Reagan, improved edge-metal flashings and a new cap sheet beneath the tiles to provide enhanced waterproofing and fire protection.

Thanks to Western Pacific Roofing, the Reagan Ranch's new roof system dramatically improves the foundation's ability to protect the ranch home and historical artifacts stored within the presidential site.

Money for MUNY

In St. Louis, The MUNY (Municipal Theatre Association of St. Louis) unveiled a new 80-module photovoltaic panel system for its 96th season thanks to a $75,000 donation from Kirberg Co., St. Louis. The panels are expected to produce more than 25,000 kilowatt-hours of energy during the first year and will help The MUNY save thousands of dollars in energy expenses while reducing its environmental footprint.

"Alternative sources of energy will continue to be a valuable avenue for venues to explore in the future," says Eric Kirberg, president of Kirberg Co. "Because we've managed numerous solar installations for St. Louis properties, we thought it would be a perfect opportunity for The MUNY. We hope our donation will enhance the experience of theatergoers for many years to come."

Remembering the fallen

Through the Roofing and Siding Contractors Alliance (RSCA), Jim Taylor Inc., Belleville, Ill., helped provide a new roof system for a widow of a police officer who died in a hit-and-run accident. The work was performed in partnership with The BackStoppers, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide families of police officers, firefighters and publicly funded paramedics who are killed in the line of duty with support the families need to meet their financial obligations and continue to pursue family dreams.

Early in the morning Sept. 10, 2013, on a day the temperatures were forecast to hit triple digits, volunteer roofing workers wasted no time tearing off and replacing the entire roof system. The day was chosen to coincide with a time when the country was remembering policemen, firemen and other first responders who lost their lives on 9/11.

Despite the oppressive heat, work progressed quickly and professionally, and by day's end, the home was once again safe from the elements.

Serving those who have served

Bill Johnson, chairman and CEO of Johnson Roofing Inc., Waco, Texas, has a special place in his heart for soldiers and veterans. On Sept. 28, 2013, Johnson Roofing sponsored the fifth annual Welcome Home Celebration for active duty soldiers, veterans and their immediate families.

Between 2,500 and 3,000 people attended the free event, which included food, live music, a children's petting zoo and a job fair, among other activities, all made possible by Johnson's efforts. He also was instrumental with helping to recruit and bus 400-500 volunteers from six counties to help with various event activities, including making upwards of 2,000 desserts for attendees and wrapping them all individually.

"They put up their lives for us," Johnson says. "We can joyfully give them one Saturday of our time."

In addition to the Welcome Home Celebration event, Johnson has hosted a number of smaller versions of the Welcome Home Celebration on his property, performs the Riderless Horse—a single horse saddled with a pair of boots reversed in the stirrups to symbolize and honor fallen soldiers—during Memorial Day ceremonies, and sponsors the Voices of Valor, a section in the Waco Tribune-Herald newspaper that recognizes individual service members.

"Although actual roofing donations aren't involved, from Waco to Fort Hood to Austin, it is well known that Bill Johnson of Johnson Roofing is available to help soldiers," says Desta Harvey, vice president of Johnson Roofing. "And he certainly can bring in the volunteers when needed to help."

Helping abroad

For some NRCA members, helping your community means extending help overseas. When James Chaney, president of HCH Construction Services Inc., Hermitage, Pa., was asked to be a part of a project to construct the second floor on a district conference center for the Mount Shiloh Church in Jamaica, he wasn't sure how he'd be able to contribute but he made the commitment immediately.

In addition to helping the Hubbard Church of the Nazarene develop and execute fundraisers for the church's youth group to travel to Jamaica to help with the construction, Chaney sponsored a youth group member's airline and travel expenses, and he donated all the money he personally raised to other group members.

Once in Jamaica, Chaney and the team poured and mixed concrete, carried sand and gravel, and completed their goal to construct the second floor of the district center with one day to spare on their schedule.

"Chaney took two weeks away from work to be on site, where his construction knowledge and abilities along with his leadership skills were paramount in helping us reach the project goals quicker than anticipated," says Pastor W. Michael Byus. "We are blessed to partner with HCH Construction Services."

Faith in Thailand

Ten thousand miles away on the other side of the world, Joel Beattie, owner of Chase Construction North West Inc., Edgewood, Wash., visited Faith Village Children's Home in northern Thailand. In an area where children are at high risk of being trafficked, Faith Village Children's home provides a safe haven for children. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to rescuing, educating and giving hope to children in desperate need of help.

During Beattie's visit, he undertook the project of installing a roof on the Canteen building, a structure that had been left without a roof for several years.

"We are so thankful for Beattie's generosity," says David Mahawon with the Faith Village Children's Home. "The children have so enjoyed a place to play their games and hang out during the monsoon rainy season and Christmas. Beattie has a big heart, and we are so grateful for people like him."

Improving the industry's image

No matter where the help is needed, there is no shortage of philanthropy within the roofing industry. NRCA members are generous with time and money, often going above and beyond the help needed. Roofing professionals who give back to their communities become integral members of their communities. These individuals not only make improvements to their communities, but they also directly aid the community's impression of the roofing industry, which is a win for everyone. If your company is performing acts of kindness in your community, we'd like to hear about them. Email us at professionalroofing@professionalroofing.net.

Chrystine Elle Hanus is Professional Roofing's associate editor and NRCA's director of communications.



For articles related to this topic, see:
"The dream weavers," August 2013 issue
"Everyday superheroes," August 2012 issue
"The power of commitment," August 2011 issue



Pay it forward

Every year, NRCA receives many requests for roofing assistance from people in dire straits. As a result, in 2010, NRCA created the Pay it Forward program to match those in need with those who can help. Roofing companies volunteer to be placed on the Pay it Forward list, and when NRCA learns of someone in need near the company's geographic area, the project information is forwarded to the company. Volunteer companies are not obligated to provide labor or materials, but they receive the project information to determine if they are able to help. If the company is able to provide roofing assistance, the homeowner then is asked to Pay it Forward by helping another person in need when the opportunity presents itself. If you would like to become a Pay it Forward volunteer, visit www.nrca.net.



Did you know?

If your company is doing great work to help an organization, you can nominate the project for a CNA/NRCA Community Involvement Award. The winning project will win $5,000 payable to the charity. For more information and a nomination form, contact Charlotte Norgaard, NRCA's media relations manager, at (847) 493-7548 or cnorgaard@nrca.net.

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