"When a star is born, they possess a gift or two, one of them is this: They have the power to make a wish come true."
The lyrics from the song "When You Wish Upon a Star," written by Leigh Harline and Ned Washington for Disney's 1940 film adaptation of Pinocchio, gave hope to a fictional character that his wish to become a real boy could come true. The original version was sung by Cliff Edwards through the character Jiminy Cricket and is heard during the final scene. The song resonated so well with audiences, it has since become the representative song of The Walt Disney Company.
In the real world, the stars who make wishes come true walk among us every day. According to Giving USA,™ an organization that has provided comprehensive charitable giving data for more than 60 years, in 2016, charitable donations increased 2.7 percent to reach a new high of $390 billion.
And in the roofing industry, there is no shortage of stars who help turn wishes into reality. From donating a roof system to a single mother of three children in need to raising money for police armor, NRCA members are overwhelmingly generous givers to their communities.
Every August, Professional Roofing spotlights some of the charitable projects undertaken by NRCA members during the past year. The following are just a few of the many acts of kindness NRCA members bestowed.
Lehigh Valley fundraising runs
At ATAS International Inc., Allentown, Pa., employees take active participation to a new level. The Lehigh Valley Health Network Via Marathon recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, and eight ATAS International employees formed two teams to run a 26.2-mile relay. Thousands of runners competed, and the event raised money to benefit Via of the Lehigh Valley, a nonprofit organization providing services for children and adults with disabilities. This is the fourth consecutive year ATAS International has participated.
"We fully support the employees of ATAS in giving back to our community by participating in many different fundraising events throughout the year," says Peg Bus, human resources manager for ATAS International and a Via Marathon participant. "I was proud to run for such a worthwhile cause and to run beside those with whom I work."
Four additional employees also participated in the inaugural Lehigh Valley 9/11 Heroes Run to benefit the Travis Manion Foundation, an organization for veterans and families. More than 250 runners, walkers and volunteers participated to raise $6,500 for the foundation. The money will be used to empower veterans and families of fallen heroes "to develop character in future generations."
Ronald McDonald House Charities
At Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), protecting future generations is the order of the day. Since 1974, RMHC's network of local chapters has been making children happier and healthier by creating programs that strengthen families during difficult times.
In July, Columbia Construction Services Inc., Tualatin, Ore., worked with local partners and donor companies, including GAF, Parsippany, N.J., and Allied Building Products Corp., East Rutherford, N.J., to help a $1.4 million RMHC remodeling project, including a new roof system, come to fruition.
"We are so honored to be able to help with this project," says Mark Carpenter, president of Columbia Construction Services. "We all need to take care of the people who need help during stressful times in life. I am fortunate to be in a position to help."
Jessica Jarratt Miller, CEO of RMHC, Oregon and Southwest Washington, says she is thrilled with the new roof system installation provided by NRCA members.
"Thank you so much for your generosity and for reaching out to your community of vendors and partners to keep our Ronald McDonald House safe and dry for all the children and families that make this their home away from home," Miller says.
Antis Roofing and Waterproofing Inc., Irvine, Calif., has a history of giving back to its community and collaborating with Habitat for Humanity of Orange County, donating every roof system installation the organization needs.
During 2016, in addition to its donated roof systems and annual giving and volunteering, the company sent 2,000 charitable giving cards to show its appreciation for vendors, employees, partners and friends. The charitable giving cards had funds on them for each recipient to allocate to any nonprofit organization registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization.
"At Antis, we believe in generosity with all stakeholders at all times—it's even in our employee manual," says Charles Antis, founder and CEO of Antis Roofing and Waterproofing.
The giving cards included a note that read: "In the spirit of sharing our gifts and paying it forward, we want to give you this Giving Card as a token of our appreciation." The cards were tracked to where they were redeemed to generate reports indicating which causes stakeholders supported.
"We are so thrilled to be seeing our giving cards make such a difference in the lives of Orange County citizens," says Dan McQuaid, CEO of OneOC, the card creator. "Antis has taken our idea to the next level and is creating an outstanding force of good here in our county."
Antis Roofing and Waterproofing invited all Giving Card recipients to share their stories online using the hashtag #livetogive.
Free Roof for the Holidays
For more than a decade, DryHome Roofing and Siding Inc., Sterling, Va., has been making holiday wishes come true. During 2016, the company selected Shari Ashley Blackburn, a single mother of three children struggling to keep her life together, as the recipient of a new roof through its 13th annual Free Roof for the Holidays program.
"After a recent divorce, Shari, who has three kids and a 46-year-old home in need of many repairs, was trying to stay afloat," says Steve Gotschi, president of DryHome Roofing and Siding. "I've known Shari since elementary school, and she was one of DryHome's first customers, so her nomination and hardship came as a surprise. She is a good, caring person. We hope the new roof system eases her burden and makes the holiday brighter."
Throughout November, DryHome Roofing and Siding accepted nominations from customers and the community to identify a Northern Virginia individual, family or nonprofit organization in need of a new roof. Blackburn received nominations by numerous friends and family, and DryHome Roofing and Siding selected her nomination based on her needs, the condition of her 27-year-old roof and the heartfelt nominations.
"A new roof takes one big thing off my growing list of repairs," Blackburn says. "It also means my childhood friend Steve put my first roof on 27 years ago, and he did so again. I'm extremely grateful to DryHome and the friends who nominated me."
On a mission to keep the holiday spirit alive beyond the season of giving, Advanced Roofing Inc., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is a longtime supporter of Sonrise Mission, a faith-based rehabilitation program center for men and women located next to Advanced Roofing's facility. Sonrise Mission helps people with life-controlling dependency issues who seek stable, productive lives.
Every year, Advanced Roofing organizes holiday donation drives for the organization. In 2016, Advanced Roofing went beyond its holiday donation drive and organized a fundraising campaign to pay off Sonrise Mission's mortgage debt.
Seeing the profound effect the nonprofit organization was making in the lives of so many people with its limited resources, Rob Kornahrens, president and CEO of Advanced Roofing, joined with Gary Hall, president of Certified Contracting Group Inc., Pompano Beach, Fla., and Rob Foote, president of Frank H. Furman Inc., Pompano Beach, to create The New Life Fund to retire Sonrise Mission's $140,000 mortgage debt.
To raise funds, Kornahrens organized a breakfast and other fundraising initiatives. Within six months, The New Life Fund met its goal. The funds also allowed the mission to make enhancements to the agency, including landscaping and a new roof coating, solar attic fans and walk-in cooler. Thanks to Kornahrens' and Advanced Roofing's efforts, the Sonrise Mission now will be able to allocate more resources to life-saving programs.
Rose Andom Center
For the past 36 years, Academy Roofing Inc., Aurora, Colo., has provided roofing services to many deserving charities, but according to Academy Roofing, perhaps no project has been more fulfilling and rewarding than the work it performed on the Rose Andom Center in Denver.
The Rose Andom Center supports victims of domestic abuse via crisis-intervention counselors, legal support, law enforcement, mental health counseling, job-readiness support and information about the criminal justice system. Newly opened in 2016, the center expects to serve more than 3,000 victims annually in a safe, inviting facility where they will be empowered to make the best choices for their families.
After hearing about the Rose Andom Center and the repairs needed on its facility, Academy Roofing jumped at the chance to help. Scope of work included roof and wall repairs, and mechanical, signage and structural systems were upgraded, as well. Curbs were patched; roof punctures were repaired; skylights were installed; and penetrations were removed and repaired.
At the building's entrance, a new accessible entrance ramp was built, and TRESPA® panels were installed over the existing concrete walls and hand rails. The value of the work done on the facility was about $80,000. Although the TRESPA panels were donated by the manufacturer, all other work and materials were donated by Academy Roofing.
"Academy Roofing brought a level of expertise to our project that made all the difference in the world," says Margaret Abrams, executive director of the Rose Andom Center. "Our heartfelt appreciation goes to Academy Roofing for its dedication to quality and concern for our community. We are grateful Academy Roofing believes everyone deserves a path out of domestic violence."
Convoy of Hope
Sometimes, making a wish come true means making a meal possible for a child. Commercial Roofers Inc., Las Vegas, has long supported Convoy of Hope's Children's Feeding Initiative. Through the program, nearly 150,000 children receive meals in El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Nicaragua, the Philippines, South Africa and Tanzania. Many children enrolled in the initiative have their only meal of the day at school, a meal provided by Convoy of Hope.
During 2016, Commercial Roofers continued its support through participation in its Employee Giving Program. For every $10 donated by Commercial Roofers employees, Convoy of Hope is able to feed a child for one month. To date, Commercial Roofers employees have provided nearly 100 children with food for an entire year.
A wish for toys
For children, playing with toys helps develop fine motor skills and teaches the values of sharing and waiting your turn, but too often children don't have access to toys that help form happy, healthy childhoods.
Aloha Construction Inc., Lake Zurich, Ill., recognized this and partnered with Learning Express Toys, Lake Zurich, to launch a shopping spree for local children in need. The children who participated in the event were members of OMNI Youth Services, an organization focused on providing educational support and advancement opportunities for children, adolescents and young adults.
The Dave Farbaky Foundation, Aloha Construction's charitable branch, spearheaded the event as the launching point for future charitable events. Dave Farbaky, founder of Aloha Construction and the foundation, has been an active member of the Lake County, Ill., community, often donating money for medical treatments to help children with spina bifida occulta and cancer. Understanding that sometimes all a child needs are a few toys to feel better, Farbaky launched a shopping spree for a family facing hard times. With the help of OMNI Youth Services, a family was selected.
The shopping spree took place Sunday, Aug. 16. The four girls selected were allowed to walk through the store and then given 60 seconds each to grab as many items as they could before checkout. Many in attendance cheered on the kids as they bolted through the store. While the girls were exhausted but still excited, Farbaky surprised them with an additional 30 seconds with a family member to grab any items they missed. Each girl filled about eight to 10 bags, totaling about $7,000 in wishes.
Strawberry fields forever
One month later in September, R.H. Marcon Inc., State College, Pa., provided roofing services during United Way's Day of Caring 2016. The Day of Caring was established in 1993 and is one of the largest annual volunteer events in Centre County, Pa. Each year on the first Thursday in October, Day of Caring volunteers work on improvement projects throughout Centre County for all qualifying nonprofit organizations, community recreational facilities, historical sites, municipal parks and other relevant areas. Projects consist of landscaping, painting, repair and general upkeep.
During the event, R.H. Marcon provided the labor to install a new 2,500-square-foot three-tab asphalt shingle roof system on Strawberry Fields, a member agency of United Way, with materials donated by IKO® Industries Inc., Brampton, Ontario. Strawberry Fields provides comprehensive services and support for people with developmental delays, intellectual disabilities and mental illness.
"I would like to thank Marcon for donating an $8,500 roof," says Cynthia Pasquinelli, CEO for Strawberry Fields. "Our facility is now a safer, warmer and drier home."
A wish for safety
On July 7, 2016, during a protest in Dallas, a sniper ambushed and fired upon a group of police officers and Dallas Area Rapid Transit officers with a semiautomatic rifle, killing five officers and injuring nine others plus two civilians. It was the deadliest incident for U.S. law enforcement since the 9/11 attack in New York City.
Not knowing what might come in subsequent days, the Dallas police force quickly called on all neighboring police units to be on alert to serve as backup should they be needed. The small town of Double Oak, Texas, with 2,900 residents, answered the call but did so without the kind of body armor truly needed for potential riot or sniper situations.
When CEO of Supreme Systems Inc., Dallas, Tim Rainey, learned each new body armor set cost $1,000, he immediately donated funds to purchase three. Rainey then approached members of the North Texas Roofing Contractors Association to donate funds to purchase more sets.
Subsequently, Bennett Hutchison, president of Tip Top Roofers Inc., Atlanta, made a donation for two more sets. And John Gipson, owner of C-CAP, Lewisville, Texas; Ronnie McGlothlin, president of Empire Roofing Inc., Fort Worth, Texas; Rich Frazier, owner of Frazier Roofing and Guttering Co. Inc., Arlington, Texas; Hector Castro, vice president of Sun Commercial Roofs Inc., Dallas; and Kelly Lea, general manager for Texas Roof Management Inc., Richardson, Texas, each donated funds to purchase additional sets of armor.
Thanks to Rainey's efforts and the generosity of those who helped him, the men and women of the Double Oak Police Department will have the protection they need to help them return home to their families should any riot or sniper situation arise.
Community Service Day
For the past eight years, Sika® Sarnafil Inc., Canton, Mass., has been the main sponsor of the annual Community Service Day held during Texas-based Informa's International Roofing Expo® (IRE). During the event, volunteers from various industries and backgrounds, such as roofing workers, general contractors, project managers, home inspectors, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, painters, masons, drywall contractors, HVAC technicians and tilers, volunteer to help renovate the homes of those in need. During the 2017 event, 45 volunteers helped make repairs for three homeowners in Henderson, Nev.
"From year one, Sika Sarnafil recognized this was a great event and a way to give back to the local communities where the IRE events take place each year," says Bill Bellico, director of marketing and inside sales for Sika Sarnafil. "During the event, we have roofing contractors, consultants and competing manufacturers working side by side for a great cause. For me personally, the highlight was when one family whose home we were working on came out to spend some time with our workers. You could really see the excitement and joy on their faces as they walked around and observed all the repairs we made to their home. It definitely was one of the more rewarding days in my roofing industry career."
Wishes do come true
The preceding stories are just a glimpse of the philanthropic work happening every day within the roofing industry. For every wish that has been fulfilled by a roofing professional's tireless efforts, there are hundreds more. The roofing industry has a long history of promoting the welfare of others and is generous with its time.
Next year, National Roofing Week will take place June 3-9, 2018, 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 found a way to make a wish come true in your community. For more information, visit www.nrca.net/National-Roofing-Week.
Chrystine Elle Hanus is Professional Roofing's associate editor and NRCA's director of communications.
A one-of-a-kind partnership
At its April 2017 meeting, The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress entered into a partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). According to the agreement, the Alliance will "endeavor to inspect, maintain and (whenever possible) replace the roofs on the 184 Ronald McDonald houses in the U.S." The RMHC-Alliance partnership is the first of its kind—all other partnerships are with Fortune 500 corporations.
Each Ronald McDonald house in the U.S. is independently owned and operated. The houses range from single-family homes to high-rise apartment buildings. The buildings are located near hospitals and serve as homes for family members of children who are being treated at a hospital. Many of the children have cancer; many others were born prematurely. The houses provide sleeping rooms, meals and support—offering opportunities for families to interact as they go through their hardships.
The roofs Alliance members will care for range from small low-slope roof systems to complicated steep-slope roofing projects. Alliance member EagleView, Tarpon Springs, Fla., has committed to providing the aerial reports for all houses, and the Alliance will identify one or more Alliance members to align with each house. The expectation is the designated Alliance member will conduct regular inspections of the assigned roof, see it is properly maintained, perform repairs when necessary and be involved at the time the roof needs to be replaced.
With the help of Alliance members, the Ronald McDonald houses will continue to provide safe environments for children and their families in need.
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.