By Thaddeus Imerman
Despite knowing she could not afford a new roof on a fixed income, Killeen resident and 7-year National Guard veteran Gladys Jones got the surprise of a lifetime last week when she discovered that a roofing company, a roofing supplier and the Fort Hood Area Habitat for Humanity would replace her roof for free.
Jones’ home on Bigleaf Drive hosted the service, which was funded by Habitat for Humanity grants.
Jones said Dave Farris, a Habitat for Humanity executive, didn’t get to contact her first when she learned she was getting her roof replaced. “The guys came out first and knocked on my door and said, ‘We’re bringing the supplies for the roof.’
“I didn’t want to scream, so I just acted cool and said, “Oh, really? OK, so when do you need us?”
As soon as I shut the door, I’m screaming all over the place.”
Her homeowner’s insurance would not cover the replacement of the roof because it was original to the 1999 house.
Jones didn’t have to pay a dime thanks to SRS Building Products, Texas Traditions Roofing, and Habitat for Humanity Fort Hood. A roof replacement for Jones’ house would probably cost between $12,000 and $15,000, according to Bryan Chisholm, general manager at Texas Traditions Roofing.
SRS Building Products territory manager Jeremy Cunningham said the company he works for has a nonprofit organization called Operation Raise a Roof Foundation, which allows the company to make such donations.
It is impossible for me to express how much he admires his company, “Our motto is ‘Make money, have fun, and give back.’ It’s a lot of money and everything, but to be able to share that with people in need — we do this stuff all day long, selling shingles and new roofing — but to actually be able to give it to a homeowner in need, and see how happy they are with it, it breaks up the monotony of the daily.”
To say the least, Jones was thrilled.
“I am just overjoyed,” she said. “That’s all I can say.”
According to Farris, who is the Fort Hood Area Habitat for Humanity’s veteran engagement construction resource specialist, SRS Building Products has supplies for a deserving veteran.
“We’re trying to serve the veteran community, so I went out and inspected different roofing for veterans we were going to qualify for, and when I passed this house, it had missing shingles (and) it was definitely distressed,” Farris said.
In response, Farris asked Chisholm if his crew could finish it by the end of June.
Texas Traditions Roofing, founded nine years ago, is focused on giving back and took on the job with gusto.
“We have to take care of our communities and the families we employ,” he said. “We’re a business, but you also want to give back to your community. You want to be grassroots and do the right thing.”
A “phenomenal organization,” Habitat for Humanity is described by Chisholm.
We are blessed to be able to help and serve with them on this journey, he said.
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