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Every year, attendees and exhibitors at the International Roofing Expo (IRE) come together to help the less fortunate in the local community by participating in Community Service Day, IRE’s philanthropic home repair and revitalisation project.
According to Brandi McElhaney, Senior Conference Manager for IRE, the event began in 2010 in New Orleans, to offer assistance and support to those still feeling the effects of Hurricane Katrina, which caused mass destruction in the area when it hit in 2005.
The event takes place the day before IRE opens, and on average welcomes around 45 volunteers who work on 2-3 houses. Volunteers are split into skilled volunteers, who help with roofing, interior/exterior painting, flooring and minor carpentry, while unskilled volunteers get involved with set-up, clean-up and other miscellaneous projects.
“Each year our homeowners are left in tears over the compassion of our volunteers and the transformations of their homes. An act of kindness, such as the donation of labour and roofing materials, can make the world of difference to most homeowners, some of whom have rain falling into their homes prior to their roof being replaced.”
Brandi also notes the impact the event has on the roofing community of exhibitors and attendees, offering an alternative space to network and collaborate whilst doing good.
“The Community Service Day at the International Roofing Expo really brings the roofing community together. Volunteers sign-up through registration, and there’s also word-of-mouth through exhibitors and industry associations, such as our National Women in Roofing Group, which encourages its members to sign up too. The day is literally my favourite day of the year, and everybody gains such an overall sense of fulfilment as they help these homeowners.”
"An act of kindness can make the world of difference to most homeowners"