The dream weavers

When it comes to philanthropy in the roofing industry, NRCA members lead the way


"Remember, you have two hands: The first is to help yourself; the second is to help others."
—Audrey Hepburn

There is a lot changing in the world, but one thing that never changes is the commitment of NRCA members to improve the lives of people within their communities. From donated roof systems to fundraisers to scholarships, NRCA members make dreams come true.

Every August, Professional Roofing celebrates the dream weavers within the NRCA member community. Following are a few brief stories of selfless acts of kindness the roofing industry has demonstrated.

Donated roof systems

At St. Roch Catholic School in Indianapolis, every time it rained or the snow thawed, classrooms became overwhelmed with constant, steady streams of water. It was not uncommon for saturated ceiling tiles to collapse. Too many times, school projects were damaged or books were destroyed, and the positive learning environment the school tried to create often was disrupted by unstoppable leaking water.

When AAA Roofing Co. Inc., Indianapolis, learned the school would not have money in its budget for many years to reroof the school, Jim Huntington, AAA Roofing's president and owner, secured donated materials and provided a 50 percent labor discount, a $40,000 savings, to tear off and install a new TPO roof system with added new gutters and flashings. For the first time in decades, the school's children and teachers are enjoying dry indoor space without needing an umbrella.

In La Crosse, Va., Southside Baptist Church was in dire need of a new roof system before a team of Heritage Roofing Inc., Martinsburg, W.Va., employees stepped up to help. Although the church was located four hours away and required the volunteers to donate travel time in addition to time away from families, Heritage Roofing employees accepted the project.

Heritage Roofing worked alongside congregation members to tear off 50 squares of shingles, replace the deteriorated plywood deck, and install new architectural shingles and flashings. According to Heritage Roofing, the friendships formed during the project will last even longer than the new roof system.

When The Farmer's House Market in Westin, Mo., was notified its building was not going to pass a health inspection because of the roof's poor condition, Arch Roofing and Restoration, Overland Park, Kan., didn't hesitate to provide a new roof system at no cost.

The Farmer's House Market provides a community hands-on work environment that gives youth and adults with developmental disabilities practical vocational skills by learning to operate a cash register, make change, stock shelves, interact with customers, tend a garden and so much more. Now with a new roof system provided by Arch Roofing and Restoration, The Farmer's House Market can continue to provide a place that cultivates self-esteem, grows a sense of self-worth, and harvests confidence and passion.

GSM Roofing, Ephrata, Pa., has helped with many charitable projects throughout the years, but during the past year, it increased its efforts and sponsored the Great Roof Giveaway. During the giveaway, local nonprofit organizations entered to win a free roof system for their organization.

After submitting a video of the dilapidated roof on one of its buildings, Milagro House in Lancaster, Pa., an organization providing education, housing and counseling for homeless women and their children, was awarded a free roof system. In addition to the new roof system, GSM Roofing repaired a roof on another Milagro House building. And when an unexpected leak occurred on a third building, GSM Roofing responded the same day to repair the leak before an approaching storm. Now, the residents at Milagro House are not only safe but also dry.

Motivated by a desire to give back to its community and educate homeowners about the importance of addressing roof issues early, Owens Corning,™ Toledo, Ohio, partnered with the NeighborWorks® Toledo Region and participated in the Buy A Shingle, Save A Home program. By purchasing raffle tickets, homeowners entered to have their roofs replaced. Through the initiative, four homeowners in targeted Toledo neighborhoods were chosen to have their aging or damaged roofs replaced with Owens Corning Oakridge® Shingles. Thanks to the program, four families no longer worry about how they will pay to reroof their homes to keep their children dry.

At Michigan's University of Detroit Mercy, recent in-kind gifts helped cut costs to renovate a historic firehouse and convert it into a unique office setting for a low-income, volunteer law center. Sparing no expense to help his alma mater, Robert S. Molnar, vice president and chief financial officer for Wm. Molnar Roofing Inc., Riverview, Mich., donated a $45,000 PVC roof system with photovoltaic panels to assist the new home of the university's legal clinic that will serve about 1,450 clients annually.

The company also has donated more than $7,000 to schools, a youth center to support school activities and a scholarship and has made a $20,000 commitment to install a new metal roof system on local Riverview High School.

Helping veterans

In addition to helping schools, when Wm. Molnar Roofing learned about an injured soldier returning from Iraq who required handicapped-access renovations to his parents' home, it donated another $5,000 roof system to assist with completing the home remodeling.

In Arlington Heights, Ill., twice a year, Riddiford Roofing Co. holds an all-company safety and wellness training day. During the day, employees have the opportunity to give back to the community by voluntarily signing up to donate the pay they would receive for the day to the Wounded Warrior Project,® an organization whose purpose is to raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members; help injured service members aid and assist each other; and provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs.

During 2012, Riddiford Roofing employees donated $9,580 of their pay to the program. Since beginning the program, the employees have generously donated $32,070 to help servicemen and servicewomen.

Located 14 miles from southeast Muskogee, Okla., Camp Gruber Training Center serves as training grounds for Oklahoma's National Guard's 45th Infantry soldiers. Every year, 150,000 men and women pass through the gates for training before deployment overseas.

In 2011, when Gov. Mary Fallin called for the construction of an interfaith chapel to be built solely with private dollars for soldiers and families to have a place to receive spiritual and emotional preparation for the rigors of military life, Oklahoma Roofing and Sheet Metal LLC, Oklahoma City, jumped in to help. Gerry Shepherd, chief executive officer (CEO) for Oklahoma Roofing and Sheet Metal, became CEO, general contractor, president and fundraiser for the chapel project.

Every day for six months, trucks and Oklahoma Roofing and Sheet Metal personnel made the 154-mile drive to Camp Gruber Training Center to deliver materials and work on the chapel. One Oklahoma Roofing and Sheet Metal family member, Ross McKay, passed away from a heart attack while working on the chapel. His service to the project will be forever remembered with a plaque hanging in the chapel sanctuary.

Specialized help

National Building Contractors Inc., Conyers, Ga., recently helped the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, Conyers, repair its 43-inch-wide, 1,600-pound bell. Monastery of the Holy Spirit belongs to a religious order with a monastic tradition dating to 1098 in France.

When Father Augustine contacted Alan Abrahamsen, vice president of National Building Contractors, for help with removing the bell for repair, Abrahamsen didn't hesitate to help. In addition to providing the 70-ton crane and expert operator to lift the bell from the tower, National Building Contractors provided a structural engineer to assist with designing reinforcement plates in the tower window, which National Building Contractors had to widen to remove the bell. Once the bell's repair is complete later this year, National Building Contractors will provide the labor and crane to reinstall the repaired bell.

During the past five years, HCH Construction Services Inc., Hermitage, Pa., has built a strong working relationship with Verland Foundation Inc., Sewickley, Pa., an organization of community homes and services supporting more than 200 individuals with intellectual disabilities, many of whom have multiple physical challenges. HCH Construction Services has donated funds, sponsored events and reduced rates for work completed, and employees have donated personal time and energy to many Verland Foundation projects.

In 2012, HCH Construction Services' most significant contribution was the installation of sidewalks and railings at two residential homes that now allow residents more direct wheelchair access to their homes. Not only do the sidewalks and railings provide an aesthetic improvement, but, more important, HCH Construction Services also provided a significant safety upgrade for the residents and caregivers.

Helping seniors

In 2008, Hurricane Ike damaged many Houston-area homes, and many senior citizens sought financial assistance to repair their homes. As is the case for anyone who is underinsured, uninsured or unemployed, some people simply could not pay for the repairs. That is when Chamberlin Roofing and Waterproofing, Houston, teamed up with the Houston Area Urban League Inc. to come to the aid of one particular senior citizen who had been living in a damaged home for four years.

Working 12-hour shifts on a Saturday and Sunday in April 2012, a crew of nine Chamberlin Roofing and Waterproofing roof mechanics generously gave their time to help a homeowner. ABC Supply Co. Inc., Beloit, Wis., donated all the materials.

Fundraisers

DryHome Roofing and Siding Inc., Sterling, Va., is actively involved with raising money for Lyme disease research. For the past two years, it has organized and sponsored a Loudoun Lyme 5K race. DryHome Roofing and Siding's owner, Steve Gotschi, started the race after his wife struggled with the disease.

Loudoun County, where DryHome Roofing and Siding is located, has been experiencing a Lyme disease epidemic. It has the third largest number of Lyme disease cases in the U.S., with 22 percent of Virginia's cases occurring in the county. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. reported 30,000 new cases of Lyme disease in 2010. During the first Loudon Lyme 5K race, DryHome Roofing and Siding raised $27,000 for Lyme disease research; in 2012, it raised $47,000.

In addition to the race, for the past 10 years, DryHome Roofing and Siding has given back to the community through its annual Free Roof for the Holidays program. To mark the 10th anniversary of the program, DryHome Roofing and Siding selected two recipients: a widow whose roof had been covered with a tarp for years and Doorways for Women and Families, Arlington, Va., the only domestic violence shelter in Arlington County. Thanks to DryHome Roofing and Siding's generosity, many families celebrated happy holidays under new, secure roofs.

Here's proof to never underestimate the power of one person: In only six weeks, Lisa Susi, vice president of Salomon Roofing and Construction, Hialeah, Fla., organized a golf tournament with 67 sponsors and donors to raise money for pancreatic cancer.

During six weeks, Susi created a website, published a brochure, secured merchandise for a silent auction, including two Infiniti® car giveaways for a Hole in One contest, and organized a dinner banquet in honor of her friend who lost her daughter to pancreatic cancer. Susi's fundraising efforts raised $35,000, which were directly earmarked to support pancreatic cancer research. Susi's goal for 2013 is to raise $50,000.

The fourth annual Deer Park Roofing Golf Outing was held in September 2012. Organized by Deer Park Roofing Inc., Cincinnati, the annual event has raised more than $20,000 for the Ohio River Valley Arthritis Foundation,© including more than $5,000 in 2012. Nick Sabino, president of Deer Park Roofing, suffered juvenile rheumatoid arthritis as a child and knows first-hand the effect the disease can have on a family; he understands the importance of raising money and awareness for those who need it. The foundation provides support for families in need, including financial assistance for medication and recreational events specifically designed for children with arthritis.

Donations

Baskin-Irby Construction Co. LLC, Franklin, Tenn., supports a variety of Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' and Exhibitors' Association charitable foundations and events through monetary contributions that have socially and economically affected the lives of many people in the middle Tennessee area.

In 2012, Baskin-Irby Construction donated more than $9,000 to support scholarships, seminars and programs that teach life lessons such as responsibility, decision making, communication, problem solving, goal setting and empathy through caring for animals.

Just for kids

Every year, the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) Reserve Toys for Tots program collects and distributes toys in communities in which a USMC Reserve unit is located. During every October and November, the program collects new, unwrapped toys and distributes them as Christmas gifts to less-fortunate children. Preferred Roofing Services LLC, Cleveland, donated a generous $5,500 to the 2012 program, which provided toys and happy memories for many children in the Cleveland area.

In March 2012, Ferris Home Improvements LLC, Wilmington, Del., donated roof systems to Stanton-Newport Little League in Stanton, Del. Stanton-Newport Little League provides a safe environment for children aged 5 to 16 years to learn the values of good sportsmanship, teamwork and citizenship while having fun playing baseball and softball. The league does not have paid staff and is run entirely with volunteers, relying solely on the generous support of families and friends. Although each player is asked to pay a registration fee, no child is turned away because of a lack of funds.

The roofs on the concession stand, dugouts and press box were severely rotted, sagging in disrepair and in danger of collapsing with any kind of heavy rain or snow. Ferris Home Improvements' suppliers donated most of the material at cost, and Ferris Home Improvements donated all the labor to replace the roof systems. The crew removed and reroofed the buildings in time for opening day. As a result, the league was able to use the $15,000 in savings to buy new uniforms and equipment and provide scholarships to financially disadvantaged players. The league was so grateful, it asked Walter Ferris, Ferris Home Improvements' president and owner, to throw out the first pitch at the opening day ceremony.

Three years ago, Cole Roofing Co. Inc., Baltimore, began donating its profits from school roofing projects to a scholarship fund through a partnership with Carson Scholars Fund. Carson Scholars Fund was founded by pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson and his wife to recognize and reward students in grades 4-11 who demonstrate academic excellence and a commitment to humanitarianism. Winners are designated as Carson Scholars and receive a $1,000 college scholarship, medal, trophy to be displayed in their schools and an invitation to an awards banquet. During the three-year partnership, Cole Roofing has supported six scholars throughout Maryland.

When Emmanuel Christian Center, Spring Lake Park, Minn., an after-school mentoring partner with Woodcrest Elementary School, Fridley, Minn., informed Joe Hoffman, CEO of Hoffman Weber Construction Inc., Fridley, the center was turned down for a grant for a much-needed sport court, Hoffman sprung into action.

In August 2012, Hoffman provided the $20,000 and leadership necessary to install a 40- by 60-foot court with suspended honeycomb play surface that provides a safer place for students to play. Hoffman Weber Construction also donated the soccer goals to be used for recess and physical education classes.

In September, it was brought to Hoffman's attention that Woodcrest Elementary School also was in need of sports equipment for its physical education classes; he received a wish list of equipment, including soccer balls, footballs, jump ropes, hula hoops, athletic cones and floor puzzles. Again, Hoffman happily purchased the equipment and accessories totaling $4,000.

Since 2009, Tecta America Southeast LLC, Sanford, Fla., has worked on innovative projects for Give Kids The World Village, Kissimmee, Fla., including designing and building a Castle of Miracles and Starter Shack. Now, Tecta America Southeast's commitment goes beyond providing construction services.

In 2012, the Tecta America Southeast team adopted its first villa. The Adopt-A-Villa program helps the Give Kids The World Village continue to be a place where "happiness inspires hope” for children with life-threatening illnesses. The whimsical buildings incorporate different themes that mirror magical places from storybooks. Each building contains elaborate slate, shake, tile and low-slope roofs, but that only is part of the building.

The beautiful structures need upkeep, and now Tecta America Southeast is responsible for maintenance and spring cleaning of its adopted villa. Tecta America Southeast employees spent a day redoing the villa's landscape, repairing loose shingles and pressure-washing the villa's exterior. Inside, the villa was cleaned, beds were made and base boards wiped down. The finishing touch was to decorate for Christmas. And next year, it all will be done again.

Mentoring

Every two years, the Department of Energy invites 20 universities to compete in the Solar Decathlon. Teams from around the world compete to research, design, create and operate the most attractive, energy-efficient and affordable solar-powered 1,000-square-foot homes. To meet stringent competition requirements, the University of Maryland, College Park, partners with knowledgeable contractors to teach, mentor and assist in the designs. Ruff Roofers Inc., Baltimore, was selected as a mentor and gladly accepted the challenge to provide design guidance, as well as donate labor and materials, to the 2012 program.

Ruff Roofers' skilled mechanics worked closely with students, advising them about the best practices of roof system detailing and installation. The holistic design was created to respond to challenges of energy and water consumption—harvesting, recycling and reusing water. The house had to be fully constructed and tested at the university before being disassembled, transported by truck and reassembled at the competition site. Weeks before the competition, the house literally was put to the test when Hurricane Irene came up the coast. Despite heavy winds and record rainfall, the roof withstood the elements and the house remained dry and undamaged.

Seeing the big picture

M4 Roofing and Gutters Inc., Englewood, Colo., was thinking "big picture” when it created Maggi's House, a nonprofit organization helping struggling mothers and their children.

Introduced in 2012, Maggi's House was created to help homeless families return to financial security. Through the program, a single mother is selected and M4 Roofing and Gutters provides one year of shelter, food, furniture, clothing and most necessities a struggling mother cannot afford. Maggi's House also works with the mother to provide job training so she can obtain the necessary skills to provide for her family in the future. M4 Roofing and Gutters is looking forward to seeing the organization grow and helping those who need it most.

Feel inspired?

We hope these stories have lifted your spirits and inspired you to share a part of your company with your community. To all roofing professionals who continue to make dreams come true and elevate the roofing industry's image, NRCA says thanks for all you do.

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


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 charitable work for an organization, you can nominate the project for a CNA/NRCA Community Involvement Award. The winning project will receive $5,000 payable to the charity. For more information and a nomination form, visit www.nrca.net.

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