We live in a fast-paced, busy world. It is a world that tends to focus on self. How can I make more money? How can I buy that car? How can I lose weight? Where should I go on vacation? As a result, we sometimes forget about the less-fortunate people around us.
However, there are many people in the world who stop and take the time to help those who are not as fortunate as themselves. These people appreciate what they have and are enthusiastic about giving back and making a difference.
The roofing industry includes its share of charitable and generous roofing professionals. Roofing companies often lend a hand when needed, and their selfless work is appreciated by the communities they help.
Each year, Professional Roofing recognizes the good deeds of companies in the roofing industry. Following are stories of some of this year's roofing industry contributions.
For the kids
Empire Roofing Inc., Fort Worth, Texas, stepped in to help All Saints Catholic School, Fort Worth. The school has served the community for the past 99 years and achieved a high-school graduation rate of 99 percent and college attendance rate of 90 percent. However, in May 2003, the school faced problems that affected its functionality. A faulty roof system was making conditions unsafe and required costly repairs.
Empire Roofing investigated the school's physical plant and determined the two existing roof systems needed to be removed. The company then donated an estimated $46,000 in materials and labor, installing rosin paper; a 28-pound base sheet; two layers of Type IV felt in hot asphalt; Rubberoid torch-modified cap sheet; and new metal, gravel guards and vents on the 62,000-square-foot (5760-m2) roof area.
The finished product was so appreciated, the school organized a letter-writing campaign to thank Empire Roofing.
Students' letters expressed much gratitude with such messages as "Thank you for giving us a new roof for free"; "Thank you for fixing up this school, and thank you for letting us have this school"; "Today was a rainy day, and we were dry thanks to your roof"; and "In religion class, we learned to help our neighbor, and you are a good example of that saying."
Empire Roofing also won a 2005 NRCA Gold Circle Award in the service to the community category for the All Saints Catholic School project.
Allen Brothers Inc., Rochester Hills, Mich., has had its hand in various charitable activities during the past year.
In December 2004, the company sponsored a child for Rochester Jaycees "Christmas Shopping Tour." The holiday event involves donating $60 to 30 local less-fortunate children; each child uses the $60 to shop at Target® and buy small gifts for his or her family members. The children then have a pizza party with singing, arts and crafts, presents and a visit from Santa.
"We're proud to live and work in Rochester Hills, and, therefore, we try to get very involved in worthy causes that help the Rochester Hills community, as well as the surrounding communities," says Robert Allen, president of Allen Brothers.
Allen Brothers also donated $1,500 of material and labor to install a new cedar roof on a 12-foot- (4-m-) wide, 10-foot- (3-m-) high playhouse. The playhouse was auctioned at a dinner on Aug. 13 to help raise money for the Jonathan Potter II Foundation. The foundation is an effort to help Jonathan Potter, a 9-year-old child from Shelby Township, Mich., who has a rare form of glyoma, an inoperable brain cancer.
The playhouse was auctioned for $7,500, and a total of $143,000 was donated at the dinner.
For a cause
Inspired by an employee who recently was diagnosed with cancer, Tidewater Roofing & Exteriors, Hampton, Va., led a fundraising drive to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
The company represented the local remodeling industry in the "Relay for Life," an overnight event where teams take turns running or walking laps, trying to keep at least one team member on the track at all times. A team of 30 from Tidewater Roofing & Exteriors walked and ran in the relay.
In three weeks, Tidewater Roofing & Exteriors reached its financial goal of $3,000 and recruited the assistance of other local companies. The company raised $5,675 for cancer research and patient programs for the American Cancer Society by soliciting donations from employees, material suppliers and other local remodeling companies. Employees also helped to raise money by selling donuts and "Celebrate Life" wristbands.
"Despite our company's rapid growth, we're still a tight, family-oriented organization that really cares about each other," says Christian Miller, sales and marketing director for Tidewater Roofing & Exteriors. "The Relay for Life was just another way we could all show how much we care and try to make a difference."
Elk Premium Building Products Inc. took time to help raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
A group of 24 Elk Premium Building Products employees and customers participated in the FedEx Kinko's MS150 Bike Tour that involves cycling 150 miles (240 km) from north Dallas to Admore, Okla., during a two-day time period. This year, 2,000 riders participated.
Elk Premium Building Products participants raised more than $16,000 in private donations, and organizers raised $1 million and still are receiving donations.
"We are privileged to take part in such an amazing event," says Thomas Carol, chairman and chief executive officer of Elk Premium Building Products. "Elk employees have big hearts from the ones who train for the race to the ones who donate to the cause. It gives us a great sense of community to come together and ride with each other and our customers to raise money to fight the devastating effects of multiple sclerosis."
Security Roofing, a subsidiary of The Ribble Group, Kaukauna, Wis., presented checks to various Salvation Army Corps in Wisconsin and Minnesota as part of a promise made in 2004.
In November 2004, Security Roofing pledged to donate $10 to the Salvation Army for every residential roofing/GutterTopper® quote written in November 2004 and December 2004, as well as an additional $25 for every sale (of $750 or more) resulting from those quotes. As a result, the Brown County Salvation Army Corps received $1,800; Fox Cities Salvation Army Corps received $3,800; Rochester Salvation Army Corps received $400; and Oshkosh Salvation Army Corps received $325.
"We are delighted to continue our support of the Salvation Army in northeastern Wisconsin and Minnesota," says Reid Ribble, president of the Ribble Group and NRCA. "We felt strongly about stepping in to fill the gap of fundraising for the corps, and we anticipate duplicating the effort this year, as well."
For the community
The Colorado Roofing Association (CRA) joined with Rebuilding Together® Metro Denver for National Rebuilding Day this year to rehabilitate houses of low-income homeowners, particularly the elderly and disabled. The organizations have worked together since 2001.
CRA looked at the roofs of 33 homes and, with the help of 34 contractors, reroofed 18 houses, repaired six roof systems and conducted nine on-site roof system inspections. This donation of material and labor totaled almost $55,000.
In addition, CRA volunteered to repair a home on April 30, National Rebuilding Day. The association volunteers worked on the Bridgeway House, a home for unwed mothers with babies.
CRA replaced flooring in two kitchens and put in new countertops; built a new walkway outside; cleaned up the yard; painted; and completed landscaping tasks. Rebuilding Together donated a new energy-efficient refrigerator.
"Support from the CRA is monumental in helping Rebuilding Together meet its mission of keeping homeowners warm, safe and dry," says Laurie McCaw, executive director of Rebuilding Together Metro Denver. "The impact of replacing and repairing leaky and unsafe roofs on these homes is unmatched. We are grateful for our partnership with CRA."
"It always is a gratifying experience to be a part of helping others in some way," says CRA President Amy Hawkins. "I think it's particularly rewarding to see CRA members band together to work on projects in the communities where we usually are competing for jobs."
It is obvious the spirit of charity is alive and well in the roofing industry. If you would like to share what your company has done for those in need, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
NRCA has many ways for roofing professionals to get involved with various types of community service. If you would like to become involved in community service activities but don't know where to start, contact Sarah Gough, staff liaison for NRCA's Community Service Committee, at (847) 299-9070, Ext. 7507; fax (847) 299-1183; or e-mail email@example.com to learn about opportunities suitable for you and your company.
Krista Reisdorf is associate editor of Professional Roofing magazine.
You can be a part of charity, as well. To find out more about organizations mentioned in this feature or to donate, refer to the following: