More than a year after the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic, the world continues to struggle to recover and adjust. People in every community experienced a crisis like no other in modern history. But when a crisis emerges, often so does philanthropy.
Philanthropy brings people and industries together and lifts the human spirit. During the past year, roofing professionals volunteered, contributed, fundraised, donated and helped relieve daunting circumstances in a variety of ways.
Every summer, Professional Roofing recognizes a few of the individuals and companies that help in moments of need, demonstrating the caring and generous nature of our industry.
Easterseals and YWCA
Employees at Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal Inc., Wheeling, W.Va., proved not even a global pandemic could prevent them from helping their community. When Easterseals of the upper Ohio valley had to cancel its 2020 annual charity golf event because of COVID-19, the roofing company got creative.
Since 2014, Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal has hosted a charity golf event benefiting Easterseals of the upper Ohio valley, one of 75 affiliates that create life-changing solutions for individuals with disabilities and their families. Every year, the event grows, and donations have increased from $11,340 in 2015 to $31,720 in 2019.
Knowing the loss of donations would negatively affect Easterseals’ ability to provide services, Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal employees held a companywide event to raise funds that were matched by the company. With additional support from suppliers, the dedicated team at Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal presented Easterseals of the upper Ohio valley with a check for $27,790.
“Although the 2020 golf tournament was canceled, Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal was committed to making a donation to Easterseals,” says Allison O’Konski, director of community relations at Easterseals West Virginia. “Our mission is to provide life-changing care regardless of a family’s ability to pay, and Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal generously contributed. We’re so grateful for their support and the impact they have on our community.”
In addition to helping Easterseals, Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal Project Administrators Stephanie Barry and Shawnda Burgess wanted to make a difference through the National Women in Roofing Council affiliate they opened in Wheeling during the spring of 2020.
After a local YWCA was forced to halt all fundraising events during the pandemic, Barry and Burgess continued to contribute necessities while maintaining COVID-19 safety guidelines. The women collaborated with John Kalkreuth, chairman of Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal, to hold gift basket raffles to raise money. Many local Wheeling businesses also donated items to place in the raffle baskets.
Thanks to two dedicated Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal employees, YWCA of Wheeling received a donation of $2,600. “The YWCA of Wheeling is honored the National Women in Roofing affiliate chose to support the efforts of local women who suffered or struggled during the pandemic,” says Lori Jones, executive director of YWCA of Wheeling. “The creative efforts of this fundraiser are already assisting hundreds of women who seek shelter with the YWCA of Wheeling each year. We are so thankful.”
Good Shepherd Food Bank
Each year, employees at Horch Roofing, Warren, Maine, through the company’s Responsible Giving Committee, work with local charities to provide much-needed assistance. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted an even greater need for food assistance in Maine, so Horch Roofing employees set a 2020 goal to raise a minimum of $10,000 to support organizations that work to end hunger.
Partnering with Good Shepherd Food Bank, the largest hunger relief organization in Maine, Horch Roofing helped support Maine friends and neighbors in need by donating $200 for every residential asphalt and metal roofing contract signed during the months of June and July. Because of the dedicated work of Horch Roofing employees, the company exceeded its goal and raised $16,200, the equivalent of 48,600 meals.
“Maine ranks twelfth nationally—and first in New England—in terms of food insecurity,” says Julie Guerette, donor engagement manager for Good Shepherd Food Bank. “A year ago, 14% of Maine households, or 200,000 Mainers, lacked access to enough nutritious food to live a healthy life. We are grateful for Horch Roofing’s decision to be a part of our critical work. We look forward to continued partnership in our shared commitment to end hunger in Maine.”
Companywide virtual events
Contributing to the communities it serves with an overall mission of helping others has been a centerpiece of Legacy Restoration LLC, Plymouth, Minn., since the company was founded in 2011. Beyond donations, it takes a hands-on volunteer approach as a team and invites employees’ families to participate.
During the past decade, the company assisted in the founding of the Josephine Lilly Wolf Memorial Scholarship Foundation to raise scholarship money for deserving students at an accredited university in Jamaica; worked with national organizations Habitat for Humanity® and Volunteers of America®; and partnered with several local organizations including Feed My Starving Children, Hope House, JT’s Bikes for Kids, Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge, and local schools and athletic programs.
Legacy Restoration’s give-back efforts usually include quarterly hands-on team efforts within each market it serves—Colorado, Illinois and Minnesota. But when the pandemic hit during 2020, employees realized they had to find innovative ways to give back.
“We knew our efforts during 2020 were even more important and our push to expand our efforts had to remain strong,” says Brookley Topel, director of marketing for Legacy Restoration. “Our theme for 2020 was ‘Helping foster families, veterans and communities overcome adversity.’”
Legacy Restoration turned its traditional in-person team efforts into companywide virtual events that resulted in 300 blankets handmade for foster children and veterans; 50 new bikes donated to children; 135 foster children and parents adopted during the holidays; quarterly donations for foster families and veterans in need; gift cards for emergency pandemic relief for foster families and veterans; $4,000 in donations for children’s programming at KTIS radio station in Minneapolis; two scholarships fundraised for students in Jamaica; safety supplies donated to first responders and communities; and $2,000 in toys donated to Toys For Tots.®
“When I think of Legacy Restoration, I think way beyond its service that restores the physical damage to a house,” says Larry Julian, founder of The Leadership Roundtable. “Instead, I think about the lives they’ve affected and restored.”
Greater Nashua Habitat for Humanity
Positively affecting people through affordable housing always has been a passion for Cindi Owning, vice president of Viking Roofing Inc., Hollis, N.H. Growing up in a small town in California, Owning saw firsthand how her father’s commitment to helping others in the community made a difference.
Owning carried on her father’s philanthropy through a partnership with Greater Nashua Habitat for Humanity, a Habitat for Humanity affiliate with a mission to provide safe and decent housing to deserving families. Owning’s involvement with Greater Nashua Habitat for Humanity began in 2013 when she joined its board of directors. Since then, she has volunteered at and donated to numerous fundraising events and currently sits on the organization’s fundraising committee.
During 2020, the affiliate was facing a serious financial predicament after the COVID-19 pandemic led to steep declines in donations and employee furloughs. After realizing the extra office space at Viking Roofing’s headquarters would comfortably house the organization’s operations, Owning offered the alternative space to Greater Nashua Habitat for Humanity.
The affiliate accepted Owning’s offer and moved operations to Viking Roofing’s headquarters, saving $2,400 each month. After the move, the organization needed a shed to store equipment, and Owning donated $1,000 to the project. With the money saved thanks to Owning, Greater Nashua Habitat for Humanity rehired furloughed staff.
“During these challenging COVID-19 times, Viking Roofing has stepped up in a major way by allowing us to move our affiliate offices to space within their headquarters,” says Deborah Chisholm, board president for Greater Nashua Habitat for Humanity. “Because we no longer must pay rent or utilities, the substantial savings allowed Greater Nashua Habitat for Humanity to offset losses because of the pandemic. The support Habitat for Humanity has received from Cindi Owning and Viking Roofing over the years has been instrumental in allowing us to continue building homes in southern New Hampshire where affordable housing is one of the greatest challenges faced by local communities.”
In addition, Owning helped her company install three new roof systems on Habitat for Humanity homes through Parsippany, N.J.-based GAF’s Habitat for Humanity Community Contractor Program. Through the program, GAF donates roofing materials and roofing contractors donate their time to install a roof system on a Habitat for Humanity project.
Christmas roof giveaway
When John Rhoden, owner of Rhoden Roofing LLC, Wichita, Kan., started his roofing business 12 years ago, he made a commitment to use his roofing knowledge and skills to give back to his community.
During each of the 12 years Rhoden Roofing has been in business, Rhoden has installed a free roof system for a deserving and disadvantaged family. Rhoden advertises on TV, his company website and social media channels and asks the community to nominate an individual or family who deserves a new roof.
The 2020 recipient of a new roof system was Denise Woolheater, a single mom with six children. Rhoden Roofing workers removed four layers of roofing material down to the deck, replaced the roof deck and gutters, and installed new charcoal-colored asphalt shingles on Woolheater’s home.
“I would like to tell John Rhoden how grateful we are for his generosity,” Woolheater wrote in a thank-you letter. “I would also like to give a shout out to the Rhoden Roofing crew that did a fabulous job. It was a great experience to see the old, dilapidated roof replaced with the beautiful, gorgeous roof we have now. My family and I are truly blessed to be part of a community of people who give back to one another.”
Rhoden also is heavily involved with Habitat for Humanity in the Wichita community. During 2020, Rhoden Roofing completed six new roof system installations on Habitat for Humanity homes.
“It is a great honor to speak of the incredible work being done by Rhoden Roofing in support of the Wichita/Sedgwick County community,” says Ann Fox, executive director of Wichita Habitat for Humanity. “Through the generosity and professionalism of Rhoden Roofing, Wichita Habitat for Humanity can complete more homes, and we are able to do so more safely and efficiently than would be possible without the partnership. Rhoden Roofing’s generosity to our community will continue to benefit homeowners and our community for years.”
Las Vegas Rescue Mission
Thanks to the generosity of Commercial Roofers Inc., Las Vegas, the Shelter of Hope at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission received a new roof system. During 2020, the company worked with Penta Building Group Inc., Las Vegas, to make roofing repairs at the mission that serves women and children who need emergency shelter. The shelter has 68 beds, a well-equipped playroom and offers a residential recovery program for women.
The shelter’s existing roof was the original roof system built with the structure in 1991. The roof was dilapidated, leaking and in desperate need of replacement. Commercial Roofers donated the labor to remove the existing shingles, add support beams, and install 2,300 square feet of metal panels and 6,000 square feet of asphalt shingles donated by Beacon Roofing Supply, Las Vegas.
“For years the roof on the Shelter of Hope at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission was a concern for many reasons,” says Heather Engle, president of Las Vegas Rescue Mission. “There were multiple leaks and failed attempts to patch the problem, and we couldn’t place beds in certain areas. The project to make the shelter habitable would not have been possible without contractors like Commercial Roofers, who made sure all the leaks were fixed and helped give a finishing touch to what is now a beautiful building that will continue to serve the community in need for many more years to come.”
Ronald McDonald House Charities®
Serving the community is something Carlisle SynTec Systems, Carlisle, Pa., has done for more than half a century. Most recently, the company gave back to the community by donating a roof system to Ronald McDonald House Charities, a nonprofit organization that creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the well-being of children and their families.
After inspecting the roof and identifying deficiencies in the RMHC of Charleston, S.C.’s facility, Baker Roofing of North Charleston, S.C., directed RMHC to contact The Roofing Alliance. Through a partnership created in 2017, Roofing Alliance and NRCA members inspect, maintain, repair and when necessary replace the roof systems on the 165 standalone RMHC facilities throughout the U.S.
Thanks to material donations from Carlisle SynTec Systems and Premier Building Products Inc., Charlotte, N.C., and donated labor from Baker Roofing, RMHC of Charleston’s roof system has been restored.
“We are grateful to Carlisle for supplying the materials needed and to Premier Building Products and Baker Roofing for making this project happen,” says Kathy Papadimitriou, CEO of RMHC of Charleston. “We were 10 years overdue in replacing the roof and are especially thankful for this gift when supplies are limited during the pandemic. RMHC has been fortunate to not have had to close our doors this time. On behalf of all the families, we thank you.”
When employees at TXO Restoration LLC, Fort Worth, Texas, learned SoupMobile, a mobile soup kitchen serving homeless families in Dallas, needed help building a food pantry to serve the community, they didn’t hesitate to offer roofing expertise, financial support and labor to install metal roof systems on two buildings. The roof systems included two layers of mechanically fastened 2-inch-thick polyisocyanurate insulation, underlayment, 24-gauge standing-seam panels, new gutters and downspouts, and a two-year labor warranty.
“I wanted to send you a personal note of gratitude for your amazing support,” wrote Kevin Bryant, lead volunteer with SoupMobile, in a thank-you letter. “The buildings will be serving the poor, needy and homeless each day and will do so long after we’ve gone home. Please accept a large thank you from the SoupMobile team that will serve here, from the poor and homeless that will be helped here and from me personally for such a huge gift.”
Green Square Meals
The gift of a dry home is what employees at T & K Roofing and Sheet Metal Co. Inc., Ely, Iowa, provided when a derecho packing 100-mph winds displaced hundreds of people. Employees at the company don’t usually work on residential roofs, but when nearly all 50,000 residential properties within the city of Cedar Rapids sustained some level of damage, they wanted to do something.
T & K Roofing and Sheet Metal workers installed temporary roof coverings to help homeowners save the interiors of their homes. But instead of charging a typical $300 to $400 fee for this service, homeowners received an invoice for $125 with a “pay it forward” note that informed them T & K Roofing and Sheet Metal would waive their invoice if they submitted a receipt for a $25 donation to the local food bank.
“The past year has been a challenging year for everyone with the pandemic and derecho that occurred in August,” says Bea Rethwisch, chair of Green Square Meals, an organization that serves hot, nutritious meals to the homeless. “We are so thankful for the donations we received because without them we would not be able to reach as many people to provide assistance.”
Thanks to employees at T & K Roofing and Sheet Metal dedicated to assisting members of their communities, hundreds of Iowa residents received emergency shelter and food.
Shelter, food and something to call their own is what many children in foster care systems need. Employees at Arkansas Roofing Kompany, Conway, understood this when they decided to make a difference in a child’s life every time they installed a roof system between Nov. 1-Dec. 15, 2020.
During the six-week period, whenever the company sold a new roof system, employees purchased a new carry-on suitcase or duffle bag along with toiletry items for a child in Faulkner County’s foster care system through The CALL of Conway and Faulkner Counties. Customers also were given the option to match the company’s gift. The CALL is a nonprofit Christian organization that seeks to equip, educate and encourage its community to provide a future and hope to children in the state’s foster care.
“Over and over, we watch children as they are moved to a foster home with their belongings placed in a garbage bag,” says Louise Witcher, coordinator for The CALL of Conway and Faulker Counties. “I have witnessed children feel like garbage after a few moves. We want better for our children and believe they deserve so much better. Smaller suitcases give the children a sense of dignity when they have already lost their whole world.”
Because of caring employees at Arkansas Roofing Kompany, children in Arkansas’ foster care system now can throw away their garbage bags and carry their belongings in suitable luggage.
Extra Special People
Helping people feel special is what employees at Christian Roofing and Remodeling, Athens, Ga., endeavor to do. For the past two years, the company has been pivotal in the success of an annual fundraiser pageant produced by Extra Special People Inc., Watkinsville, Ga., a nonprofit organization with a mission to create transformative experiences for people with disabilities and their families. For 34 years, Extra Special People has welcomed more than 600 families throughout Georgia to experience programming through summer camps, afternoon enrichment, year-round family support, employment at a mobile coffee cart and so much more.
The Big Hearts Bloom annual fundraiser pageant is Extra Special People’s largest event of the year. During 2020, Christian Roofing and Remodeling used its resources to construct an enormous three-story set for the pageant’s backdrop.
“Because the pageant’s theme changes every year, there are always new ideas and challenges to overcome,” says Jennifer Sapp, marketing director for Christian Roofing and Remodeling. “Our experience and commitment, combined with Extra Special People’s creativity, makes for an amazing on-stage experience for pageant participants. The hours of planning, meetings and time spent rigging and building are all worth it when the set brings the entire event to life. Although we are proud of our work, we know it is just one piece of an incredible event that gives people with disabilities a chance to be celebrated.”
Brookwood in Georgetown
For generations, Texas Traditions Roofing LLC, Georgetown, has celebrated the important roles adults with special needs have in their communities by partnering with Brookwood in Georgetown, a nonprofit community that provides meaningful work and a sense of belonging, dignity and respect for adults with functional disabilities.
The company’s involvement started when one of its former owners, Jim Pickel, was the first to donate to Brookwood in Georgetown’s initial capital campaign. Pickel’s son, Mike Pickel, president of operations and current owner of Texas Traditions Roofing, continues to support the organization.
During 2020, Brookwood in Georgetown asked Texas Traditions Roofing to replace a greenhouse roof. Texas Traditions Roofing employees worked to plan, budget and execute a roof system replacement that would enhance the greenhouse’s performance. To further its contribution, Texas Traditions Roofing partnered with a local company, Republic Metal Supply, Austin, Texas, to donate a custom gutter system. Republic Metal Supply donated the materials and Texas Traditions Roofing donated its time and labor to properly install the roof and gutter systems.
In addition, Texas Traditions Roofing sponsored one of Brookwood of Georgetown’s community members, Tim Duke, and raised $31,965 for Duke to participate in a 2020 golf benefit.
“Texas Traditions Roofing has been a long-time partner of Brookwood of Georgetown, supporting our programs for adults with special needs in ways only they could,” says Luke Ellis, director of community outreach and core services for Brookwood of Georgetown. “From being the first-ever donor to our initial capital campaign nearly 10 years ago to in-kind donations this year, their contributions have enabled entirely new ventures and enterprises for our men and women. Texas Traditions Roofing’s impact on our organization is deep and wide. We are so grateful for their involvement in our community.”
Food Bank of Lincoln
Since 2011, White Castle Roofing, Roca, Neb., has been involved with its community through a company Grand Giveaway program.
During every month of the company’s primary roofing season (April through November), three residential roofing customers are randomly selected to receive a $500 rebate along with a list of charity partners to select one to receive an additional $500 in their honor. Since January 2020, White Castle Roofing has donated more than $10,000 to charities.
One of the recipients of White Castle Roofing’s generosity was the Food Bank of Lincoln, Neb., an organization with a mission to “nourish our communities to alleviate hunger.” Because of White Castle Roofing’s help, 10 children received a year’s worth of meals.
“The Food Bank of Lincoln has an all-star partner in White Castle Roofing,” says John Mabry, development director for the Food Bank of Lincoln. “White Castle Roofing has provided more than 10,000 meals for those in need in our community—with thousands of meals going to children. We could not be more grateful for the support. As we continue to fight against hunger in Lincoln, we wish we had more partners like White Castle Roofing. It’s community involvement at its best.”
The industry at its best
From virtual events to roof system giveaways to offering rent-free space, roofing professionals are generous philanthropists who found innovative ways to continue supporting their neighbors during COVID-19 lockdowns. In times of uncertainty, the roofing industry can be trusted to serve and provide stability to local communities in need.
What charitable project is your company working on? Share your story by emailing email@example.com.
Charitable giving statistics:
Almost 50% of Gen X Americans participate in a monthly giving program.
Millenials contribute 11% of all U.S. donations.
72% of Baby Boomers in the U.S. give money to charity.
The Silent Generation gives more money to charity than any other generation.
Women prefer to donate money online.
Men are the most inspired to donate by emails received.
The U.S. is the most generous nation with philanthropy representing 1.44% of the country’s GDP.
About 56% of donors worldwide say Facebook has inspired them to donate money.
Environmental and human rights nonprofits are realizing the highest growth in online donations.
The average online donation is $128.
Nearly one-third of annual giving in the U.S. takes place in December.
About 25% of American adults volunteer their time to a charity.
The annual number of volunteers in the U.S. is 63 million, and the average yearly time invested per volunteer is 139 hours.
Almost 40% of all charitable donations go to religious organizations and/or causes.
Sources: Nonprofits Source and Philanthropy Roundtable
Did you know
If your company is doing great work to help 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, contact NRCA Manager of Online Communications Alyssa DeSantis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For articles related to this topic, see:
“Heroes among us,” August 2020 issue“The heart of roofing,” August 2019 issue “What a wonderful world,” August 2018 issue