Strangers put new roof over Duncan man’s head

Michele Rooke was picking up her friend to head to a Maroon 5 concert in Vancouver one rainy night when she happened to look out the window and spotted a neighbour’s house with a dilapidated roof.

Her friend told her that the neighbour’s house was full of buckets he used to catch the rain. He used to have a tarp up there, but it blew off. Attempts he made to get a bank loan to replace the roof were denied.

Rooke and some friends put their heads together and alerted their Facebook friends to the situation. One suggested a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe. com. While that was taking off, Cameron Young, the son of a former classmate of Rooke’s in Chilliwack who now lives in the Cowichan Valley, got wind of the campaign and mentioned it to his

boss at The Gutter Gator.

It snowballed from there, and last Saturday, Douglas Williams got a new roof on his house.

"It’s not going to cost us a dime," said Rooke, who headed up the cleanup crew during the roofing project. "All the supplies were donated, and these guys are volunteering

their precious sunny Saturday to do this."

The roofers were happy to do it, and their suppliers were happy to put up the materials.

"We made a call to our roofing supplier, IKO and Roofmart.

"They stepped up and donated 100 per cent of the supplies and any other materials we needed," said Clint Morrison, co-owner of The Gutter Gator with Travis Bryce.

Morrison was among the workers up on the roof last Saturday.

Cedar Grove Roofing Supply also provided some materials, Coast Environment donated 100 per cent of the dump costs, and Harcraft Homes provided all the sheeting.

Save-On-Foods, Rooke’s employer, and Starbucks donated snacks and coffee for the volunteers.

When all was said and done and donated, there was also about $750 cash for Williams from the GoFund Me.com campaign.

Finally, Belfor Restoration has provided drying equipment and a cleaning crew to take care of the inside of Williams’s home, where years under a leaky roof created moisture damage.

According to the immensely grateful Williams, who has owned the house on Second Street in Duncan since about 1960, if he could have replaced the roof in 1982 or ’83, that would have prevented a lot of the deterioration.

"It really just started to leak the last couple of years," he said.

Morrison urged everyone to follow the example set Saturday.

"It doesn’t have to be a huge deed," he said. "It could be someone in the lineup at the store who is short a dollar. Just a little act of kindness. It doesn’t have to be something big."