After reaching record-breaking levels of giving in 2017, people and organizations have continued their generous support of charitable causes. According to Giving USA 2019, total charitable donations reached $424.74 billion during 2018. In 2019, the 100 largest charities pulled in $51.5 billion in donations, an increase of 5% from the previous year.
Although monetary donations are the most popular charitable gifts, there are other ways people help their favorite causes. Celebrities have dumped buckets of ice water on themselves to raise awareness for Lou Gehrig’s disease, and musicians have recorded best-selling singles in support of famine relief.
In the roofing industry, roofing professionals band together to perform charitable acts in their communities every day. And every August, Professional Roofing spotlights some of these exceptional roofing heroes. Following are a few of the countless acts of generosity demonstrated by NRCA members in their communities during the past year.
A neighbor in need
When Tom Kohl, a retired veteran living in Winter Haven, Fla., came home from work at 10 p.m. one evening in October, he found his fiancé had been murdered and his roommate was tied up and being tortured. A man, dubbed the “spree killer” by Polk County law enforcement, tied up Kohl on his couch all night and eventually murdered Kohl’s roommate. When the murderer left in the morning, he told Kohl to stay on the couch or he’d be killed, too.
After sitting on the couch all day, Kohl summoned the courage to escape and seek help from a neighbor, who called the Polk County sheriff’s department. A search for the suspect ensued, leading to a standoff and the police eventually apprehending the man.
Seeing Kohl’s house damaged from the traumatic ordeal, the community came together to clean the crime scene, change the locks and repaint the interior. A neighbor familiar with Central Florida Roofing LLC, Winter Haven, and its charitable philosophy reached out to the company about working on the house to make it easier for Kohl to come home. After hearing about Kohl, Central Florida Roofing didn’t hesitate to help the veteran and responded by donating and installing an energy-efficient roof system.
“I’m totally inspired to help somebody like this,” says David Lukaszka, operations manager for Central Florida Roofing. “I was excited to get up and go to work.”
Lukaszka not only arranged for one of Central Florida Roofing’s crews to install a HydroStop® roof system at no charge but he also worked with his church to provide free meals to Kohl for the rest of his life.
Kohl says it was “unbelievable” to see the work being done to his home, which has made him determined to live his life without fear and not hide.
“It gives me hope, and it helps me move forward not having to do the repairs myself,” Kohl says. “Central Florida Roofing has the most wonderful people. I am so grateful.”
Koinonia Family Services
At Kodiak Roofing and Waterproofing Co., Roseville, Calif., providing hope and healing to families, youth and children through meaningful relationships and quality programs and services such as adoption, child advocacy, foster care and substance abuse counseling is a cause the company supports through its collaboration with Koinonia Family Services in Loomis, Calif.
When the organization needed help transforming an old building into a career center, Kodiak Roofing and Waterproofing provided the roofing materials and labor to install a new roof system. Thanks to Kodiak Roofing and Waterproofing’s assistance, the Koinonia Family Services Career Center opened in January to provide hands-on training to the community’s youth.“When the call went out that we needed help with roofing, there wasn’t a hesitation by Kodiak Roofing and Waterproofing,” says Camilla Ryland, community/public relations manager at Koinonia Homes For Teens. “They gave us options on colors and timetables—wow! A fantastic roof was put on that set the stage for our classroom. It’s an honor to be associated with a company that sees a need in its community and rises to meet it. Kodiak Roofing and Waterproofing has made a fantastic difference in our foster youth’s lives. Education is a beautiful thing, and we’re hopeful we will be able to send some of our foster teens into the trades.”
For employees at PRI-Premiere Roofing Inc., Livermore, Calif., the importance of education can’t be overstated. During the past two years, the company has donated more than 260 backpacks filled with essential school supplies to Kidango, the largest early childhood nonprofit organization in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Kidango provides high-quality early education at more than 50 centers for 4,000 preschool children each day. Because a majority of the children served come from low-income families, Kidango depends on community partners to help provide essential materials for classroom needs.
“When we hand out the backpacks, it always ends up feeling like we are the ones receiving the gifts,” says Jairo Reyes, chief operating officer for PRI-Premiere Roofing. “The looks on the kids’ faces are just priceless. Seeing the kids smile and jump around with their new backpacks and school supplies never fails to remind us to be thankful, even for the little things, as well as showing us how truly blessed we are to be in a position where our company is able to help the community.”
The adults at Kidango are equally thankful for PRI-Premiere Roofing’s generosity.
“The backpacks are essential to our preschoolers who otherwise may not be able to afford one,” says Marc Baker, vice president of development and communication for Kidango. “Children are able to take materials to and from home in a more organized manner because of their new backpacks. With each backpack donation, the PRI-Premiere Roofing team has made sure our children feel appreciated and cared for. We can’t thank them enough for their generosity and unparalleled commitment to San Francisco Bay Area’s most vulnerable children.”
Heavenly Care Child Development Center
Helping vulnerable children and those in peril also is important for Texas Roof Management Inc., Richardson. In April 2019, the company completed a reroofing project for Heavenly Care Child Development Center in Dallas. Created in 2009, Heavenly Care Child Development Center serves low-income families and underprivileged children.
Following a severe storm, the organization was contacted by a group claiming to be professional roofing contractors. However, after receiving funds from the insurance claim, the group abandoned the job and left only a pallet of rigid insulation in the parking lot.
After hearing what happened, Texas Roof Management workers toured Heavenly Care Child Development Center’s facility, where ceiling panels and drywall were collapsing from moisture and carpeting and furniture were soaked. After seeing the building in disarray, Texas Roof Management accepted the job.
“We wanted to ensure the staff could complete their mission in the most comfortable and safe environment possible,” says Evan Hicks, business development manager for Texas Roof Management. “And we assured them we would not accept payment for our services.”
The Texas Roof Management crew removed a variety of failed roof systems down to the wood deck. After preparing the deck, workers installed a new TPO membrane roof system and flashings, counterflashings, metal edges, gutters and downspouts. To limit disruption to the daycare, most of the work was completed on a weekend.
“I had been struggling to keep up with the building, especially the roof,” says Venetta Hill, school director for Heavenly Care Child Development Center. “Every time it rained, we would have to come in early and mop up any water that came in. We would consistently have to keep buckets in the school.
“It has been a difficult struggle, but one day the Lord blessed us with angels from Texas Roof Management. They have put a complete roof on and fixed any water damage on the inside. Our hearts are overwhelmed with joy. Every time it rains, we think of our special angels that came our way.”
Sunny skies ahead
Helping four-legged friends in need is a cause close to the hearts of employees at Chase Construction North West Inc., Edgewood, Wash. When Sunny Sky’s Animal Rescue and Hospital, Puyallup, Wash., needed help building a shelter to save dogs and cats from euthanasia, Chase Construction North West saved the day.
Sunny Sky’s Animal Rescue and Hospital provides a nurturing environment for animals with severe medical needs and finds loving homes for them. In November, the organization began building a new outdoor shelter to allow dogs much-needed space for play and warmth. When a roofing volunteer no longer was able to install the roof, the animal rescue was unable to afford the unexpected expense, and the structure was exposed to frequent rain and at great risk of serious water damage.
“Immediately upon learning of their situation, we knew time was of the essence to save the shelter,” says Joel Beattie, owner of Chase Construction North West. “Our technicians installed the new roof system the following day.”
Thanks to the heroes at Chase Construction North West, Sunny Sky’s Animal Rescue and Hospital has the much-needed space to continue its great work of rescuing animals from dire situations.
For Venture Construction Group of Florida, Boca Raton, helping those who need it most means serving those who serve in the military. As an avid supporter of the health and welfare of U.S. active duty military personnel and veterans, Venture Construction Group of Florida sponsored a Luke’s Wings Heroes Gala April 27, 2019.
Luke’s Wings is a nonprofit organization that provides transportation services to wounded warriors and their loved ones so they can be together during the service member’s hospitalization and rehabilitation. The visits provide comfort and play a crucial role in helping veterans heal physically and emotionally.
Because of Venture Construction Group of Florida’s support, the 2019 annual gala raised $443,000 to provide critical flights for wounded, ill and injured service members; veterans in hospice care; and first responders. The money raised allowed Luke’s Wings to provide 1,000 flights for wounded warriors during 2019, far surpassing previous years.
“It was a record-breaking year for us!” says Lindsay Gill, executive director for Luke’s Wings. “We sincerely thank Venture Construction Group of Florida for its support. Their encouragement has given us the resolve we need to continue working until those wounded, ill and injured are home with their families for good.”
As a company with several employees serving in the military, Semper Fi Roofing, Mukwonago, Wis., has actively been contributing to a charity important to its workers—the Semper Fi Fund. The company’s owner, Vito Schwartz, and many of its employees are U.S. Marine veterans.
On behalf of its customers, Semper Fi Roofing donates $25 for every contracted job more than $3,000 to the Semper Fi Fund to help veterans, along with their families, who have made sacrifices to serve the U.S.
“We are proud to contribute to the Semper Fi Fund, a nonprofit and veteran-ran charity that has contributed more than $193 million to more than 22,000 wounded service members and their families,” says Shannon Murasik, financial manager for Semper Fi Roofing. “Their two decades of support to our wounded veterans with volunteer efforts have provided our heroes with immediate financial assistance and lifetime support, delivering resources to those who most need it to reacclimate the injured veterans back into their communities.”
When it comes to helping and restoring communities, roofing contractors have skills nobody else can replicate. At IronShore Contracting LLC, Baltimore, craftsmen put their much-needed talents to use to help Eutaw Place, a nonprofit organization with a mission to reduce blight, educate and build its community, and restore and preserve Baltimore’s Reservoir Hill, including the restoration and revitalization of Emerson Mansion, a 19th century landmark that had fallen into disrepair after being vacant for more than two decades.
To replicate the original roof, IronShore Contracting workers installed Brava Composite Spanish Barrel Roof Tiles at no charge. In addition, IronShore Contracting craftsmen custom-fabricated the building’s 1,000 linear feet of internal gutters, edge metal and valley metal.
Because of IronShore Contracting’s generous donation of labor and metal, Emerson Mansion’s historical features remain intact. Completing the roof system installation was a necessary first step in the mansion’s overall renovation; interior work now is underway. Once the restoration is complete, the building will be used as a community hub and early childhood center.
Without IronShore Contracting’s support, the fabrication of key copper roof components would have been cost-prohibitive and the organization would not have achieved its goal to renovate the Baltimore landmark with historically appropriate materials.
Champions of giving back
Helping people achieve their goals and dreams whether professional or personal always has been important to ABC Supply Co. Inc., Beloit, Wis. The company is taking this pledge one step further by making a multimillion-dollar commitment to two nonprofit organizations—Make-A-Wish®> Foundation, which grants life-changing wishes for children diagnosed with critical illnesses, and Homes For Our Troops, an organization that has built and donated more than 295 specially adapted custom homes nationwide for severely injured post-9/11 veterans.
The company announced the corporate commitments during its national Managers’ Meeting earlier this year to the resounding applause of nearly 2,000 associates.
“ABC Supply is honored to contribute to the missions of these two incredible organizations,” says Mike Jost, ABC Supply’s chief operating officer. “One of our core values is American pride, which is why we are so passionate about the work Home For Our Troops is doing. We’re also dedicated to making dreams come true, so we wanted to become a Make-A-Wish Champion Sponsor.”
Through its support of these organizations, ABC Supply further champions its core value of giving back.
Earlier this year, the world was struck by a pandemic that has affected every person across the globe. In true roofing industry form, professionals everywhere stepped up to help their communities.
For example, in March, Commercial Roofers Inc., Las Vegas, donated 100 N95 masks to Summerlin Hospital Medical Center in Las Vegas to support healthcare professionals who are caring for COVID-19 patients.
And in April, John Famularo, owner of ABC Roofing Corp., Coral Springs, Fla., partnered with Guido’s Restaurant & Pizzeria, Coral Springs, to donate 50 meals per day to help hospital staff caring for COVID-19 patients at Broward Health Coral Springs Hospital. The food was prepared by Guido’s Restaurant & Pizzeria staff and donated to the local hospital by ABC Roofing.
“We’re all in this together, and right now, the last thing people need to be worried about is ‘what am I going to eat?’ This is especially true for our healthcare workers and all the people staffing the hospitals,” Famularo says. “These people are heroes. They show up every day to help save lives, and everyone at ABC Roofing wants them to know we appreciate what they’re doing.”
From donating meals and masks to custom metal fabrication and backpacks filled with school supplies, heroes abound in the roofing industry. They dare to see the world for what it could be and take action to achieve that vision, one good deed at a time.
What philanthropic work is your company participating in this year? Be sure to tell the roofing community about it during National Roofing Week scheduled this month—Aug. 23-29. Tuesday, Aug. 25, is dedicated to celebrating our philanthropic roofing industry heroes. For more information, visit nrca.net/nationalroofingweek.
Adopt a roof
At its April 2017 meeting, the Roofing Alliance entered into a partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities.® Through the agreement, Roofing Alliance and NRCA members inspect, maintain, repair and, whenever possible, replace the roof systems on 165 Ronald McDonald Houses throughout the U.S.
Ronald McDonald Houses provide private sleeping rooms, meals and support for family members of children who are being treated at hospitals, offering opportunities for families to interact as they go through their difficult times.
Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal Inc., Wheeling, W.Va., is one company participating in the RMHC adopt-a-roof program. During the past year, the company’s Wheeling and Columbus, Ohio, divisions performed preventive maintenance inspections on RMHC Houses in Morgantown, W.Va., and central Ohio through Roof Saver® programs to ensure the roof systems remain in tip-top shape.
In addition to roofing work, Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal teams from Kentucky and Pennsylvania purchased and dropped off much-needed supplies from RMHC Amazon wish lists. And during RMHC’s “Adopt a Night” program, Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal’s Maryland division adopted a family for a month to help pay fees and accommodations associated with staying at a RMHC house.
“As a long-time member of NRCA, it is an honor to participate in such an impactful program as RMHC,” says John Kalkreuth, chairman of Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal. “Being part of an industry that comes together and provides support and services to deserving families shows the heart the roofing industry has.”
To learn more about the Roofing Alliance’s RMHC partnership, go to roofingalliance.net/ronald-mcdonald-house-charities-partnership.