Tough times call for kind measures

Roofing professionals help those in need


The past year has proved difficult in many ways. Economic times are tough, and it can be easy to get wrapped up in the everyday struggles of trying to satisfy customers and employees and make ends meet.

However, there are many roofing industry members who remember others' needs as well as their own.

Every year, Professional Roofing recognizes charitable donations made by roofing professionals. What follows are some of this year's charitable contributions.

Happy holidays

The holidays can be challenging for those in need. And every year, S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows, Eldersburg, Md., acknowledges this by holding its Holiday Food Drive to benefit the Maryland Food Bank.

The food bank provides 12 million pounds of food annually to 1,000 community service providers, including food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, low-income day care centers, after-school programs, senior centers, rehabilitation centers and other food programs.

For its fourth annual Holiday Food Drive, which was held Nov. 6, 2007, through Dec. 19, 2007, S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows set a goal—to collect 1,500 pounds of nonperishable food and nonfood items, surpassing the previous year's drive by 500 pounds.

When Don Katzenberger, S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows' owner, and Charlie McCurry, S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows' sales director and the food drive organizer, presented the items collected during the food drive to the food bank, the load weighed 2,222 pounds. In addition, Katzenberger wrote a check to the food bank for $2,222, matching each pound of food collected with a $1 donation.

"Large donations from organizations like EcoStar,® the Marquis Foundation, Brave New Markets and the Wesley Freedom United Methodist Church helped a great deal, and together with individual donations we were able to exceed our goal for the fourth year running," McCurry says. "It gives us great satisfaction to be able to involve our customers, suppliers and employees in this event."

Helping youth

The Arizona Roofing Contractors Association (ARCA) is actively involved with many charities—ARCA members consistently contribute financially and volunteer their time, as well.

One organization ARCA contributes to annually is the Phoenix Youth at Risk Foundation, which works to transform the lives of at-risk youths through mentoring programs.

ARCA began sponsoring the Phoenix Youth at Risk Foundation 11 years ago when the foundation was newly established and had no funding or grants. To raise money for the foundation, ARCA holds an annual one-day event for its members, which includes a bowling tournament, silent auction, raffle and costume contest.

In 2007, ARCA's event raised $67,000. Additionally, ARCA established a new partnership with the BHHS Legacy Foundation, Phoenix, which became a title sponsor of the bowling tournament. BHHS Legacy Foundation donated $1 for every $2 raised, bringing the total amount raised for the Phoenix Youth at Risk Foundation to $104,000.

ARCA has donated $314,000 to the Phoenix Youth at Risk Foundation since it began sponsoring the foundation.

A special position

Roofing professionals are in a special position to donate more than just time or money. They also are able to provide roof system repairs and installations to those who cannot afford them.

Take, for instance, The Believe in Tomorrow™ National Children's Foundation, which operates a network of eight hospital housing facilities that provide extended-stay accommodations to pediatric patients undergoing lengthy treatments and their families.

One of the foundation's facilities, The Believe in Tomorrow House at St. Casimir in Canton, Md., is the first stand-alone hospital housing facility in the U.S. to focus on the long-term housing needs of pediatric bone marrow transplant patients and their families. The facility, which has eight apartments, an enclosed garden courtyard and rooftop deck, houses pediatric patients who are receiving treatment at John Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore.

So when the facility needed renovations, there was no shortage of people willing to help. Erickson Construction LLC, Baltimore, donated its services, as well as materials and labor to the facility, and Magco Inc., Jessup, Md., a Tecta America company, donated a modular green roof system and currently is in the process of installing it.

Because of its donation to The Believe in Tomorrow House, Magco received Tecta America's 2008 TectaGreen™ Award, a new award that will be given annually to a Tecta America company.

Build-A-Roof

Another example of charitable giving in the form of a new roof system was demonstrated by the San Diego Roofing Contractors Association (SDRCA).

Every year, SDRCA provides a new roof system to someone in need through its Build-A-Roof Program. The 2008 Build-A-Roof Program project came about as the result of an alliance between SDRCA and Rebuilding Together,® a national nonprofit organization that works to preserve affordable housing in the U.S. by bringing volunteers and the community together to rehabilitate homes of low-income homeowners.

For Rebuilding Together San Diego's Annual April Home Renovation event, which is part of Rebuilding Together's National Rebuilding Day, 10 recipients were selected to receive needed home repairs. One recipient was Elaine Dollente of Imperial Beach, Calif., a single mother of two.

Dollente's roof system was half destroyed, sagging because of rain, termites and dry rot. When SDRCA learned of Dollente's damaged roof system through Rebuilding Together San Diego, the association decided to make Dollente the beneficiary of its 2008 Build-A-Roof Program. From April 16 to April 19, nine SDRCA members joined to tear off and replace the sagging roof system.

"Never have so many volunteered so fast," says Troy Parrott, the Build-A-Roof Program's chairman. "It makes me proud to be a contractor member of SDRCA."

The alliance between Rebuilding Together San Diego and SDRCA began in 2006 when SDRCA, as its annual Build-A-Roof Project, provided Rebuilding Together San Diego with a new roof system. To read more about the charitable project, see "Choosing a cause," August 2006 issue, page 28.

Volunteering time

Another notable contribution was made by the Metal Construction Association (MCA), which, on July 30, 2007, helped reroof the rectory and complete other renovations at St. Maurice Church in New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward. The church had suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Katrina.

MCA members were in New Orleans attending the association's 2007 midyear meeting when they learned of the damaged church. Forty volunteers from MCA took a bus to the church where they joined with Houston-based Commercial Siding and Maintenance to install a new standing-seam metal roof system on the church's rectory.

Additionally, volunteers replaced interior and exterior doors on the church and helped trim and clean the lawn and fix the rectory's wrought iron fence, which had been damaged by a fallen steeple.

Various NRCA members made significant donations of materials and time. Architectural Metal Specialties, Douglasville, Ga., donated roof clips for the project; Hy-Tech Roofing Services, St. Rose, La., assisted with fabricating the roof panels and flashings; ITW Buildex, Itasca, Ill., donated construction aprons and box lunches for all the volunteers; Sheffield Metals, Sheffield Village, Ohio, donated roof coils and flashings; and Triangle Fastener Corp., Pittsburgh, donated fasteners and Decktite boots.

Fixing leaks

DryHome Roofing & Siding Inc., Sterling, Va., is another organization that strives to provide for those in need.

Every year, DryHome Roofing & Siding accepts nominations for people and organizations who are in need of roof systems, and in December, the company donates a roof system to a needy recipient in northern Virginia as part of its Free Roof for the Holidays program. 2007 marked the program's fifth anniversary.

"Each year we ask for the community's help in finding a person, family or organization who could really use a new roof but is unable to afford one," says Steve Gotschi, DryHome Roofing & Siding's owner.

The recipient of the roof for the 2007 Free Roof for the Holidays Program was Burnette "Bernie" Kline, an 85-year-old Alexandria, Va., resident. Kline's roof system had a number of leaks and was in dire need of repair.

A close-knit group

Wayne's Roofing Inc., Sumner, Wash., demonstrates that kind contributions can take place within a company, as well.

In February 2007, Wayne's Roofing employee Tilden Smith was at a job site performing work when he began experiencing a severe headache. He told his foreman, Jeff Bottoms, about the pain and was sent home to rest.

Smith returned to work several days later. While performing work on another roof system, he again began having extreme head pain and eventually collapsed on the roof. Bottoms called 911, and Smith was taken to the hospital.

At the hospital, it was discovered that Smith had a brain aneurism. It ultimately required brain surgery and would keep Smith in the hospital for six weeks, four spent in the intensive care unit.

More recently, the wife of another Wayne's Roofing employee, Vicente Jasso, also was found to have a brain aneurism. Jasso had to miss about a month of work to care for his wife.

Following the incidents, Tim Carnicle, a Wayne's Roofing foreman, came up with an idea. He asked Dan Johnson, Wayne's Roofing's vice president of operations, whether every member of Carnicle's crew could donate a day's wages to be given to Smith and Jasso.

Johnson liked the idea, and other employees eventually heard about it. Nearly everyone in the company ended up donating, and $6,100 was raised.

"Because many of our employees are long-term, there is a lot of closeness and camaraderie among them," Johnson says.

And Don Guthrie, Wayne's Roofing's president, matched the amount raised by the employees, bringing the total to $12,200.

"All the guys got together and gave them the donation—it was a pretty touching moment," Johnson says. "A lot of the guys were shedding a few tears. It was pretty awesome."

Keeping perspective

When times get tough, it is important not to lose sight of what is most valuable—helping others. As NRCA members and the roofing industry have demonstrated, charitable giving—whether it is in the form of time, materials or money—can be as rewarding for the giver as it is for the receiver.

NRCA offers ways for its members to get involved with community service. If you are interested in learning more about charitable opportunities available through NRCA, including the Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress' Disaster Relief Fund, contact Bennett Judson, the Alliance's executive director, at (800) 323-9545, ext. 7513 or bjudson@roofingindustryalliance.net.

Ashley St. John is Professional Roofing's associate editor.



Opportunities with Rebuilding Together®

NRCA actively is involved with its official charitable organization, Rebuilding Together, the largest U.S. nonprofit organization that works to preserve affordable housing in the U.S.

On Feb. 1, Rebuilding Together held its 13th annual Kickoff to Rebuild pre-Super Bowl event in Phoenix. NFL officials and players, as well as community members, volunteered their time and services for the rehabilitation of the Valley Christian Center and the home of Phoenix resident Ella Hennix. NRCA co-sponsored the event.

The renovations to the community center and Hennix's home will cut energy costs significantly.

Improvements to Valley Christian Center included new heating and cooling equipment, all new roofing and flooring, new kitchen cabinets, and complete interior and exterior painting.

The Arizona Roofing Contractors Association played a large role in Kickoff to Rebuild 2008, donating materials and labor. Starkweather Roofing Inc., Cave Creek, Ariz., and Diversified Roofing, Saline, Mich., also were key participating contractors in the event.

The event, which was sponsored primarily by The American Petroleum Institute (API), also marked the launch of a 2008 nationwide effort, the Energy Efficient Homes Initiative, which is focused on improving energy efficiency. Rebuilding Together and API have joined in this initiative to incorporate energy-efficiency measures in the more than 9,000 homes revitalized each year by Rebuilding Together.

NRCA members also participated in Rebuilding Together's 20th Annual National Rebuilding Day on April 26. More than 200 Rebuilding Together affiliates rehabilitated homes of elderly and low-income homeowners and families in cities throughout the U.S.

NRCA encourages its members and affiliate chapters to participate in Rebuilding Together's Kickoff to Rebuild 2009 on Feb. 1 in Tampa, Fla., and National Rebuilding Day 2009 on April 25.

For more information about how to get involved with Rebuilding Together, contact Bennett Judson, The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress' executive director, at (800) 323-9545, ext. 7513 or bjudson@roofingindustryalliance.net.

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