"The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky, are also on the faces of people going by. I see friends shaking hands, saying, 'How do you do?' ... And I think to myself: What a wonderful world."
These lyrics from the ballad "What a Wonderful World" were written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss in 1967 during the Vietnam War. The song was inspired by and written for Louis Armstrong for his ability to bring people together. Although the song only reached No. 116 in the U.S., according to Billboard magazine, it has become a beloved standard in pop music. In 1999, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and continues to be used in popular culture to convey a connection between people.
During 2017, people living in the U.S. conveyed their strong connections to others by helping charities in record numbers. According to Giving USA,™ an organization that has provided comprehensive charitable giving data for more than 60 years, charitable donations increased to 5.2 percent (3 percent adjusted for inflation) in 2017, crossing the $400 billion mark for the first time.
In the roofing world, acts of benevolence also abound. From rebuilding a local barn to hosting job fairs for veterans nationwide, NRCA members are generous supporters of their communities.
Every August, Professional Roofing spotlights some of the charitable projects undertaken by NRCA members. Following are a few of the countless acts of generosity demonstrated by NRCA members in their communities during the past year.
Every Shingle Heart
When Hurricane Matthew hit the Jacksonville, Fla., area in September 2016, there was a great need for roof system repairs and replacements. But many residents could not afford the work, so Reliant Roofing, Jacksonville, launched its Every Shingle Heart initiative to donate a free roof system replacement to a Jacksonville family.
"We live in a community- and people-oriented area," says Sean Shapiro, CEO of Reliant Roofing. "Helping our neighbors plays a big role in our company."
Community members were encouraged to nominate a family member, friend or neighbor in Jacksonville in need of a complete roof system replacement. Initially, Reliant Roofing planned to donate one roof system, but after hearing the many heartfelt stories from nominees, the company chose three families to receive new roof systems.
"Some people don't have homeowner's insurance or were denied on their claims," Shapiro says. "They put tarps on their roofs, and that's the way they lived. What we're really good at is roofing, and that's what we can give back to our community. Seeing a family's reaction from the relief they feel from finally having a new, safe, dry roof system only reinforces our commitment to Every Shingle Heart."
The experience was so positive for the community, Reliant Roofing is continuing the program. To nominate someone in need of an Every Shingle Heart roof system, visit reliantroofing.com.
A Roof Over Your Head
Providing a positive experience and sense of security to community members and their families is a commitment Showalter Roofing Service Inc., Naperville, Ill., takes seriously.
A few years ago, president and CEO C.J. Martin formed A Roof Over Your Head, a 501(c)(3) organization that helps homeowners with exterior repairs and services, such as repairs to decks, porches, stairs, siding, gutters, soffit and fascia; wheelchair ramp installation; gutter cleaning; and many other services. A Roof Over Your Head secures resources from individuals, companies, vendors, manufacturers, etc., to help families in need by combining resources. During 2017, Showalter Roofing Service provided A Roof Over Your Head with enough material, labor and equipment to install 13 roof systems and make repairs on 48 projects.
Showalter Roofing Service also is actively involved with DuPage Habitat for Humanity® in Illinois. During 2017, the company provided Habitat for Humanity with four new roof systems and made repairs to multiple roofing projects.
"For nearly 10 years, DuPage Habitat for Humanity has been blessed to receive partnership support from the Showalter Roofing Service team through gift-in-kind roof donations, volunteer support, event sponsorships, and community advocacy and affordable housing," says Samantha Fisher, director of development for DuPage Habitat for Humanity.
In addition to A Roof Over Your Head and Habitat for Humanity, Showalter Roofing Service provides annual support to about 15 other organizations, including Hope International at Camp Paradise, a summer camp at Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, Ill., that fosters relationships between dads and their children. During 2017, Showalter Roofing Service provided the labor and material to install roof systems on four cabins and one shower house at Camp Paradise.
"While many companies find their niche in social responsibility with one organization, Showalter Roofing Service has a commitment to the community that knows no boundaries," Fisher says.
Our Lady of Peace
Demonstrating its abundant generosity, Front Range Roofing Systems LLC, Greeley, Colo., helped its next-door neighbor, Our Lady of Peace, a Catholic church, with a new roof system when the upkeep of the building, sidewalks, parking lots and other features became overwhelming for the organization.
"The bills often exceed our capacity to meet the needs for repairs and remodeling," says Rev. Stephen Siebert, a pastor at the church.
For years, the roof system on the parish school needed significant repairs. When Aracely Garcia, finance director for the church, asked Front Range Roofing Systems for an estimate, Greg Farris, owner of Front Range Roofing Systems, and his team decided donating the roof was the right thing to do.
"It's in a lower income part of town, so we thought it would be good to give back," Farris says. "They're our neighbors, so we feel it was the neighborly thing to do."
Front Range Roofing Systems employees donated their labor to install a new TPO membrane roof system on the school, and Carlisle SynTec Systems, Carlisle, Pa., donated the materials. Farris took the opportunity to use the project as a training exercise, so nearly 50 employees helped install the roof system that was completed within a few hours.
"The school is an important building in our parish community and used on a weekly basis by 250 families," Siebert says. "Such a generous gift by a local business here in Greeley is rarely seen. Our staff, parishioners and the pastor at Our Lady of Peace are extremely grateful for Front Range Roofing Systems."
Scatter Joy Acres
When it comes to repairing important buildings, McKinnis Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc., Blair, Neb., understands a weatherproof roof system is needed by all. After the company learned the camel barn at Scatter Joy Acres was compromised during a Nebraska windstorm, it quickly came forward to help.
Scatter Joy Acres is a nonprofit organization on a 26-acre ranch in Omaha, Neb., that provides animal-assisted therapy to people of all ages. It relies on donations and volunteers to maintain operations, so when the barn in the camel pen area was destroyed, the unexpected expense to rebuild the barn before wintertime was a hardship for the organization. McKinnis Roofing & Sheet Metal came to the organization's aid to provide sheet metal and other necessary materials to help rebuild the barn.
"Because of a generous donation from McKinnis Roofing & Sheet Metal, we no longer have to worry," says Joy Bartlink, executive director for Scatter Joy Acres.
In addition to the donation to Scatter Joy Acres, McKinnis Roofing & Sheet Metal donated $10,000 to its local YMCA® to support community programs.
"McKinnis has been a great donor and supporter of the Y and the entire community," says Jeff Morgan, CEO of Blair Family YMCA, Blair. "Because of its donation, the Y is able to reach out and meet the community's needs in the areas of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. We are so appreciative."
Teen Challenge of Arizona
Providing the means to help the youth in its community succeed is important for the Phoenix-based Tecta America® Arizona LLC team. Recently, Tecta America Arizona employees donated their labor to repair the roof system on the Teen Challenge of Arizona at Home of Hope's facility in Casa Grande, Ariz.
Teen Challenge is a faith-based organization that cares for women and their children. Their programs enable women to overcome life-controlling addictions, restore appropriate family relationships, obtain and retain employment, and become productive members of the community.
Home of Hope serves as a recovery home and safe haven for families. In 2016, the home's roof system sustained weather-related damage that made several rooms inaccessible, reducing the organization's ability to provide support to residents.
The National Women in Roofing Arizona (NWiRAZ) chapter, as part of its mission of giving back to the local community, presented the reroofing project to repair the Home of Hope's roof system to Tecta America Arizona. Rebecca Clements, service manager for Tecta America Arizona and an NWiRAZ member, worked with roofing industry organizations to make it happen. The Tecta America Arizona team volunteered their skills and time to repair the 30,000-square-foot roof system, and the needed material was generously donated by Elite Roofing Supply,® Glendale, Ariz.
"Thank you for the roof repair," wrote Rev. Teresa Logue, center director for Teen Challenge of Arizona, in a dedicated copy of a book produced to commemorate Teen Challenge's 50-year anniversary that was presented to Tecta America Arizona. "I'm sure your team understood how desperate the repairs were needed. Because of you, we can open up another room, helping two more moms and their children."
Trade school scholarships
Horch Roofing, Warren, Maine, is generously supporting its community by offering scholarships to graduating high school seniors who will attend a college or trade school in Maine.
"We believe it is important to encourage young men and women to study and seize opportunities for great careers within the trades," says Peter Horch, owner and president of Horch Roofing. "There are thousands of trade jobs that go unfilled because there are not enough skilled laborers, and those with trades education can get into great careers and earning opportunities quickly."
For the 2018-19 academic year, Horch Roofing awarded scholarships to two trade school students: Bradley Nystrom was awarded a $1,000 scholarship to study precision machine technology at Central Maine Community College, Auburn; and Jason Reese was awarded $1,000 to study building construction also at Central Maine Community College.
Having attended a trade school before starting his roofing business, Horch understands the career opportunities the specific training can provide and wants to help other students.
"I am honored and humbled Horch Roofing has grown so much I can now 'pay it forward' to the community," Horch says. "I want local young people to feel encouraged in their pursuit of trade careers. These scholarships are just a small way for Horch Roofing to show we support their career goals and future."
For more information about Horch Roofing's scholarships, click here. The next deadline to apply is May 1, 2019.
Advocating for veterans
Three years ago, Business Advocates for Veterans Director Todd Mitchell introduced his organization to Michael and Rebecca Drayer, owners of Tri-County Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc., Westminster, Md. When the Drayers learned the volunteer organization promotes the hiring of veterans and supports projects to benefit veterans, they quickly offered their help and company services. Since then, Rebecca Drayer has served on the organization's board, and Tri-County Roofing & Sheet Metal has supported and financed various community outreach efforts and events.
During the past year, the Drayers assisted with repairing a roof system for a disabled veteran; sponsored several families in need during an Adopt a Family event at a Christmas program; sponsored four local veterans to attend an annual crab feast; and supported a Veteran Flag Memorial Event that included the donation of a crane, a 30-foot-tall American flag, a light to display the large flag, and 9,000 small flags to represent the nearly 9,000 Maryland servicemen and servicewomen who died in wars and conflicts since World War I. The flags were set up during Memorial Day weekend in 2017 to honor the community's fallen heroes, and thousands of people visited the display, including Gov. Robert Ehrlich who spoke during a ceremony.
In recognition of Tri-County Roofing & Sheet Metal's numerous efforts to help veterans, in November 2017, Carroll County named Tri-County Roofing & Sheet Metal its Veteran Friendly Employer of the Year.
"The impact of their support and contributions have been incredible," Mitchell says. "Our community is blessed to have people like Michael and Rebecca Drayer."
Job fair for veterans
For many veterans, finding a job is difficult, and SOPREMA® Inc., Wadsworth, Ohio, is helping veterans in its community obtain employment.
In May, the company hosted a construction industry job fair at its Pompano Beach, Fla., facility. Eighteen employers attended the event, and SOPREMA actively recruited sales representatives and shipping managers across the U.S. The event was such a success, SOPREMA plans to hold more job fairs in the near future.
"The quality of applicants at the veterans' job fair was impressive; many had interviews scheduled for the next day," says Jeanette Alson-Watkins, a customer relations specialist for SOPREMA. "We hope to emulate the success of this event at SOPREMA locations elsewhere in the country soon."
In addition to helping veterans gain employment, money raised during the event was donated to a local Disabled American Veterans® chapter.
For the past 11 years, Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal Inc., Wheeling, W.Va., has successfully raised money for the Easter Seal Rehabilitation Center, a division of Easterseals, a nonprofit organization serving 1.4 million children and adults with disabilities and their families using a wide range of services at 73 affiliates nationwide. The Wheeling location serves more than 2,000 children and provides nearly 20,000 home visits per year; no child seeking services is turned away.
"It's a remarkable organization with a heartfelt commitment to serve those living with disabilities," says John Kalkreuth, CEO of Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal. "We are humbled by the opportunity to provide a donation that continues to grow each year."
The company's 11th Annual Kalkreuth Amateur Golf Classic Benefiting Easter Seals at Oglebay Resort's Crispin Golf Course in Wheeling raised more than $22,000 for the Easterseals organization.
"It's our biggest third-party fundraising event," says Melissa Marco, community relations director for the Easter Seal Rehabilitation Center. "The funds they raise are huge for our organization."
During the past 11 years, the event raised more than $60,000 for the center. In recent years, Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal's national vendor partners have included ABC Supply Co. Inc., Beloit., Wis.; Allied Building Products Corp., East Rutherford, N.J.; Beacon Roofing Supply Inc., Herndon, Va.; Firestone Building Products Co. LLC, Nashville; and Johns Manville Roofing Systems, Denver.
"Without Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal's continued friendship, the good work that happens at our center each day would not be possible," says Jay Prager, CEO for the EasterSeal Rehabilitation Center. "Their involvement helps Easterseals to continue providing services to the many children and adults with special needs and their families in our area."
For Chase Construction North West Inc., Edgewood, Wash., community support means traveling to another continent.
In August 2017, Joel and Melanie Beattie, owners of Chase Construction North West, traveled to Uganda, Africa, to assist several organizations, including Hanna's House Ministry at Divine Hope Community Health Services, a nonprofit organization providing maternal health services to refugee women and their children.
The several tasks performed and funded by Chase Construction North West included installation of a new tank for clean water, installation of a new roof system and gutters, painting, repairs and maintenance on several buildings, and construction of a five-room maternity building.
"The refugees came from Rwanda during a genocide," says Justus Twikirize, operations director for Divine Hope Community Health Services. "Thanks to the generosity of Chase Construction North West, we now have a maternity ward for mothers and can offer additional services to our community."
Goodwill to all
From building maternity wards to funding scholarships for future generations of roofing professionals, NRCA members have a long history of overwhelming generosity that helps create a wonderful world for countless people.
Next year, National Roofing Week will take place June 2-8, 2019, and one day will be dedicated to charitable acts performed by the roofing industry. Make plans now to tell your story about how your company is helping to make the world wonderful. For more information, click here.
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 win $5,000 payable to the charity. To view a video about the most recent winning project, click here. For more information and a nomination form, contact Charlotte Norgaard, NRCA's media relations manager, at (847) 493-7548 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A unique partnership
At its April 2017 meeting, The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress entered into a partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC). Through the agreement, Alliance and NRCA members will endeavor to inspect, maintain, repair and—whenever possible—replace the roof systems on the 165 Ronald McDonald Houses throughout the U.S.
RMHC is an independent nonprofit organization that receives support from Founding Mission Partner McDonald's and is headquartered in Chicago. Each of the 165 houses is independently owned and operated, and all local chapters are established as 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporations. The 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.
The houses range from single-family homes to high-rise apartment buildings. Likewise, the roof systems range from low-slope assemblies to complicated steep-slope projects. EagleView Technologies Inc., Tarpon Springs, Fla., has committed to provide aerial reports for each of the houses' roofs.
During the past two years, 90 Alliance and NRCA members have been matched to local Ronald McDonald Houses. These members have agreed to conduct regular inspections of the roof systems, ensure they are properly maintained, perform repairs when necessary and be involved when the roof system needs to be replaced.
To read a project profile about Richardson-based Texas Roof Management Inc.'s donation of a roof system on Dallas Woman's Forum's historical Alexander Mansion, see "Women of the world."