Roofing Contractors Unite in Support of Habitat for Humanity

By Wendy Helfenbaum 06-03-2021
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Building community. That's what two successful businesses—Accent Roofing and Rhoden Roofing—aim to do throughout the year by boosting their participation in GAF's Habitat for Humanity Contractor program. The concept is simple: roofing contractors volunteer their time, labor, and expertise to a Habitat for Humanity project and GAF donates all of the GAF roofing materials used on the project.

These two companies have committed to impressive goals in 2021. Here's why they're doing it.

A Mission to Give Back

At Accent Roofing in Lawrenceville, Georgia, giving back is part of the overall business plan. For the past seven years, Accent has run Roofborn 101: For every 100 roofs installed, the company donates one for free to a family in need.

"I always say, 'We cannot afford to not be generous,'" says founder and president Tom Scribbins. "For every piece of new business that comes in, we feel a responsibility to return something."

When project manager Creighton Deasy joined Accent two years ago and suggested partnering with the GAF Habitat for Humanity Contractor Program, Scribbins was happy to scale up the company's charitable efforts.

"Creighton is the guru of benevolence around here," says Scribbins. "He's always on the lookout for philanthropic projects that are within our ability, and Habitat for Humanity has proven to be the real deal. They do a great job of vetting very deserving recipients. I put our best crews on the Habitat jobs because we want to look super professional, and we like giving our A-team a great opportunity to see that it's not just about putting roofs on for paying customers."

In December, Accent Roofing partnered with the Gwinnett Habitat For Humanity chapter to replace a 6,200-square-foot roof on the 82-year-old Harbins Community Center. "Gwinnett Habitat relies on contractors to donate their services to help us complete our homes. This has been especially crucial during the pandemic and the recent spike in construction costs. At least 20% of our construction cost is donated by local contractors. This allows us keep to keep our homes truly affordable" says Brent Bohanan, Executive Director at Gwinnett Habitat For Humanity.

"We've told Habitat to let us know when something cool comes across their desk," says Deasy. "We want to be first in line to help them out, and our goal is to do one roof with them per quarter."

"Goodwill is a gesture that you have to pass on. You have to practice caring for others on a regular basis," Deasy adds.

Accent Roofing started its fourth Habitat project in March, and Scribbins says having support from GAF is invaluable.

"Our local GAF rep, Ian Thomas, has been so instrumental; we've never felt more of a partnership with a manufacturer than we do with GAF," he says. "They're just so supportive at the distributor level."

Contractors Coming Together for Their Communities

In Wichita, Kansas, Rhoden Roofing is challenging other Master Elite GAF contractors to help complete 20 Habitat for Humanity projects in 2021.

Owner John Rhoden says his company first did a roof giveaway program over Christmas for a family in need in 2008. But when he learned about the GAF Habitat for Humanity Contractor Program in 2018 after becoming a Master Elite contractor, he says he realized his company could help more people.

Rhoden Roofing completed two Habitat for Humanity roofs in 2019. When Rhoden wanted to raise that number in 2020, he reached out to his GAF territory manager, Pat Campbell, for guidance.

"Pat told us if we wanted to do more, GAF would support us- which was awesome," says Rhoden. "The greater Wichita area serves us so well, and I think businesses have the responsibility to give back to those who may not have the means."

Supporting the community through donated services also helps drive more success for his company, he says.

"People like to know that the person they're doing business with cares about the community, and I believe certain customers will choose us because we support the Habitat for Humanity program," says Rhoden.

Habitat aimed to finish 20 roofs in 2021, a goal Rhoden knew his crew couldn't handle alone. So, he reached out to other GAF Master Elite contractors in the area—"Through the generosity and professionalism of Rhoden Roofing, Wichita Habitat for Humanity is able to complete more homes, and we are able to do so more safely and efficiently than would be possible without their partnership" says Ann Fox, Executive Director of Wichita Habitat for Humanity. With everyone chipping in, those 20 roofing projects are set to be completed this year at no cost to the homeowners.

Rhoden says he usually receives a photo of the new homeowners once they get their house, and he takes great pride in knowing his team played a part.

"Just seeing the smiling faces and knowing that we helped these people means a lot," he says. "Most of the people who get these homes are receiving them because they're also great people who do great things for others. So, it's great to kind of pay that back."

Rhoden wants to encourage more roofing contractors to get involved with the GAF Habitat for Humanity partnership.

"Giving back helps your company, so see this as an investment in your company," he says. "Because you're supported by GAF, you can get so much more done for a customer who really needs the help. It ends up being a win for the contractor donating their time. There's just no reason not to do it."

Roofing contractors can put their expertise to good use in their community, and GAF is proud to be a driving force in these efforts. Contact your local Territory Manager to find out more information about the GAF Habitat for Humanity Contractor program.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Wendy Helfenbaum is a Montreal-based journalist, content marketing writer and TV producer who covers design, architecture, real estate, gardening and travel for many publications and brands, including Country Gardens, Metropolis Magazine, Realtor.com, Marriott Traveler, Costco Connection, Toll Brothers, PBS NextAvenue.org and many more. Wendy loves keeping up with current design trends and is addicted to home improvement DIY reality shows. Follow her @WendyHelfenbaum.
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