‘Tis the Season for Home Improvement — and Charity, Too

eastcoastIt’s no secret that upgrades and improvements can add serious value to a home, especially as the housing market recovers from the recession. But what happens for homeowners who can’t afford it?

Carmela Santoro of Egg Harbor Township in South New Jersey had a new roof installed on her home years ago, but unfortunately, the job wasn’t done right, leading to leaks and a mold problem.

But last week Santoro, a single mother who works two jobs, got a surprise from East Coast Roofing and Siding.

Representatives from the company showed up at Santoro’s home to surprise her with the offer a free new roof before Christmas, leaving her speechless with gratitude.

This is the seventh year East Coast Roofing and Siding has donated their services to area families, and they plan to do more in the coming weeks for area residents in need.

The story is just one example of home improvement companies using their skills to help others. The good news comes right in time for the holidays and before the official start of winter — a time when a drafty home or a leaking roof can make life difficult for homeowners and their families.

In Indianapolis, another contractor has used his skills for 12 years now to help elderly, disabled and low-income individuals and families through what he refers to as his “ministry.”

Bill Huston’s company, Table Talk Ministries, is funded through his day job of driving a semi. He also gets large home improvement retailers to donate items whenever possible.

Hutson credits his parents with the success of his program — his father for teaching him to fix things, and his mother for showing him the importance of helping others.

But Hutson also said that the kind words of those he has helped have motivated him to continue the practice.

After fixing a roof for an elderly woman, he said, “She grabbed me and pulled me down and gave me a peck on the cheek and said ‘God bless you, I didn’t think anybody cared anymore.’ And I went and sat in the truck and cried and that’s why I do it.”

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