As Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"
During the past year, roofing companies were doing a lot.
In a fast-paced, competitive world, the plight of the less fortunate often can be forgotten. However, there are many people who take time out of their busy lives to help those less fortunate than themselves. And with the unwelcome arrival of a disastrous hurricane season during 2005, contributions from charitable individuals and organizations greatly were needed.
Roofing professionals have the unique advantage of being able to contribute in more ways than one; they not only can give monetary and material donations but also can contribute personal knowledge, time and labor to repair or install roof systems for those who need them.
Each year, Professional Roofing recognizes generous donations made by companies in the roofing industry. Following are some of this year's roofing industry contributions.
Great Lakes Roofing Corp., Germantown, Wis., believes in giving back to the community and does so consistently.
Great Lakes Roofing contributes regularly through its Helping Hands program, which was established in 2001 by Great Lakes Roofing President and co-founder Donald Puccetti and Great Lakes Roofing Safety Director and co-founder Mark Bartolutti to serve nonprofit and charitable organizations.
During November 2005, Great Lakes Roofing's Helping Hands program donated 200 turkeys to the Broken Bread program, Fond Du Lac, Wis., which distributes donated food to families in need. During the past four years, the Helping Hands program has donated nearly 700 turkeys to the Broken Bread program so needy families can enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal.
In spring 2005, Great Lakes Roofing made another important contribution when it was approached by Cornerstone Achievement Academy, Milwaukee. Cornerstone Achievement Academy is one of the few outlets for Milwaukee's inner-city at-risk high-school students. It focuses on creating, maintaining and enhancing each student's ability to communicate, rationalize and become a positive community member.
Cornerstone Achievement Academy's existing roof system was in poor condition; there were numerous leaks in the classrooms, gymnasium, cafeteria and administrative offices. Cornerstone Achievement Academy was unable to fund the repairs and turned to Great Lakes Roofing for help.
After meeting with Sondra A. Rhodes, principal/director of Cornerstone Achievement Academy, and recognizing the level of dedication and commitment the faculty has for its students' ultimate success, Great Lakes Roofing donated more than $7,500 worth of time and materials for a complete reroof project.
"Through this donation, we can remain dedicated to and focused on our students' well-being, enhancement and development," Rhodes says.
Great Lakes Roofing received a 2006 NRCA Gold Circle Award honorable mention for the Cornerstone Achievement Academy project.
Helping a charity
Each year, the San Diego Roofing Contractors Association (SDRCA) organizes its Build-A-Roof project, which provides new roof systems for nonprofit organizations. This year, SDRCA focused its efforts on Rebuilding Together™ San Diego's new headquarters buildings.
Rebuilding Together San Diego, a volunteer organization that preserves and revitalizes low-income homes and nonprofit organizations in the San Diego area, approached SDRCA for help in 2005 after acquiring what was to become its new headquarters—a warehouse with a house on the property. Rebuilding Together San Diego had planned to use the 3,500-square-foot warehouse to store its building materials and 650-square-foot house to provide free temporary housing for several months to a family brought to San Diego from New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. But the warehouse needed a complete reroof, and the house needed new shingles. And Rebuilding Together San Diego was unable to finance the repairs.
After hearing about Rebuilding Together San Diego's situation through SDRCA, David Susi, president of RSI Roofing International, San Diego, treasurer of SDRCA and chairman of the Build-A-Roof project, informed Rebuilding Together he would donate a crew of seven workers to reroof the warehouse.
"The building had three old roofs and a ton of rotted wood," Susi says. "After tear-off, the roof had to be resloped. Then, we installed a self-adhering built-up roof system.
"We had to get the roof into watertight condition in the middle of January, which typically is our wettest month," Susi continues.
Other contractors also contributed during the project. Wayne Sorensen, owner of Topline Roofing Inc., San Diego, and SDRCA president, supplied a crew of three installers; ELK Premium Building Products Inc., Dallas, donated shingles for the house; and Polyglass® USA Inc., Fernley, Nev., made a large material donation.
ABC Supply Co. Inc., Beloit, Wis.; Roofing Supply Group of San Diego; Georgia-Pacific Gypsum Corp./Dens-Deck, Atlanta; and Allied Building Products Corp., East Rutherford, N.J., made material donations, as well.
"I can't speak highly enough about everyone involved," says Pamela Thorsch, executive director of Rebuilding Together San Diego. "Their generosity has allowed Rebuilding Together San Diego to expand, and now we can reach out more into the community and offer more programs and services to the less fortunate."
Making a difference
Jurin Roofing Services Inc., Quakertown, Pa., joined with Calvary Church, Souderton, Pa., to transform a run-down piece of property into a permanent short-term housing establishment for homeless families in the community.
The project, themed "Extreme Home Makeover, Hope Edition," focused on repairing and renovating two buildings—a three-bedroom house and detached garage with an apartment above it.
Jurin Roofing Services supplied three workers and one supervisor to install a shingle roof system on the garage apartment. Chistopher Jurin, vice president of Jurin Roofing Services and a member of Calvary Church, acted as specialty contractor construction manager for the project, as well.
"Jurin Roofing Services did a great job," says Scott Kregel, Calvary Church's director of finance and operations. "Everyone was accommodating and helpful."
Beldon Roofing Co., San Antonio, contributed to about 200 organizations and charities this year, including the American Red Cross; Cancer Therapy & Research Center; Christus Santa Rosa Health Care, a San Antonio-based regional health-care system; Friends of Hospice, a national, nonprofit organization that provides personal care for people who are terminally ill; and Avance, a national, nonprofit organization that aims to strengthen families in at-risk Hispanic communities through parent education and support programs.
Beldon Roofing also contributed $5,000 to UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, to help with relief efforts following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The contribution was made in honor of Beldon Roofing employees' hard work in the wake of the hurricanes.
"We donate to many organizations with which our team members are involved," says Brad Beldon, president and chief executive officer of Beldon Roofing. "We volunteer a lot of time and try to give financially, as well."
Beldon serves on the board of directors for The Kids Trust, an organization created by the late Gary Houck Jr. of Houck Services Inc., Harrisburg, Pa., to help abused children grow up in a safe, happy and exciting environment. The Kids Trust, which is a new organization, plans to give grants to organizations that positively affect their communities and benefit children.
Additionally, Michael Beldon, chairman of Beldon Roofing, and his wife, Louise, serve as chairs for the Blood & Tissue Center Foundation, which was created by the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, San Antonio. The foundation raises awareness about the achievements of the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center and reminds the community about the importance of providing financial support so the center can continue its research and services.
There obviously is no shortage of generous, selfless people in the roofing industry. To share what your company has done for those in need, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
NRCA offers ways for roofing industry professionals to get involved with various types of community service. If you are interested in becoming involved in community service activities, contact Sarah Gough, NRCA's director of affiliate operations, at (847) 299-9070, Ext. 7507; fax (847) 299-1183; or e-mail email@example.com to learn about opportunities available to you and your company.Ashley St. John is editorial assistant of Professional Roofing magazine.
NRF's Disaster Relief Fund
During 2005, the National Roofing Foundation (NRF), a separate but related organization to NRCA, established its Disaster Relief Fund. The fund contributed $50,000 to the rehabilitation of the roof on the Greater St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church in New Orleans, which was damaged severely by Hurricane Rita and has no insurance to pay for repairs.
Beldon Roofing Co., San Antonio, performed the roofing work for the project and was reimbursed for labor costs by NRF. The Ellis Co., Kenner, La., completed structural repairs free of charge, and Bruce Fryer, chief executive officer of Fryer Roofing Co. Inc., Fresno, Calif., coordinated the project.
NRF established its Disaster Relief Fund to provide new roofs in regions affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. However, Fryer is pushing for the fund to become a permanent endowment.
"Now that this fund has been established, we need to perpetuate it," Fryer says. "This is a way for NRCA members to have a direct effect."
NRF is seeking labor, monetary and material donations to support the fund. Noncash gifts, such as worker housing, meals, transportation and warehousing, also are accepted.
For information about how to make a donation to NRF, contact Bennett Judson, NRF's associate executive director, at (800) 323-9545, Ext. 7513, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Donation forms are available online at www.nrca.net/rp/about/charity/disaster/default.aspx.
Get involved with Rebuilding Together™
NRCA actively is involved with its official charitable organization, Rebuilding Together, the largest U.S. volunteer organization that preserves and revitalizes low-income homes, nonprofit organizations and communities.
NRCA co-sponsors Rebuilding Together's annual "Kickoff to Rebuild" event, held before the Super Bowl, during which National Football League (NFL) commissioner Paul Tagliabue and his wife Chandler, NFL players and community volunteers renovate a home or facility in need of significant improvements. NRCA also participates in Rebuilding Together's annual National Rebuilding Day during which volunteers gather in cities and towns across the U.S. to repair and rehabilitate homes of elderly and disabled low-income homeowners and families with children.
NRCA encourages its members and affiliate chapters to make a difference in the lives of others by participating in Rebuilding Together's "Kickoff to Rebuild 2007" on Feb. 4, 2007, in Miami, and Rebuilding Together's National Rebuilding Day 2007 on April 28.
For more information about becoming a Rebuilding Together volunteer or donating products, contact Sarah Gough, NRCA's director of affiliate operations, at (800) 323-9545, Ext. 7507, or e-mail email@example.com.