As I was saying ...

Giving cheerfully

When NRCA President Reid Ribble, president of The Ribble Group, Kaukauna, Wis., decided NRCA must respond to the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina, he first polled NRCA's Executive Committee. Ribble said before NRCA can ask its members to help, it needs to show their leaders are on board by committing $5,000 each to a yet-unspecified relief effort. All he heard was "yes" and not a single "no."

Next, NRCA sent a letter to all NRCA members asking for help. Those of us who have been in the industry for a while were not surprised by the response: immediate, overwhelming and positive.

One NRCA member sent an e-mail that said, in effect: You may not use my name because that's not why I do this. But when you tell the story of the roofing industry, I want you to know I have spent $11,000 to send bottled water to the affected area. Through my church, I sent one of my trucks and trailers loaded with supplies to Biloxi, Miss.

He continued by saying, "I'm prepared to spend $25,000 to help because I try hard to live the life of a cheerful giver."