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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I'm Sticking To The Union

I fell in love with my husband because of his beautifully large and giving heart. Nearly twenty-five years later, he still impresses me with his "get up and do...get up and give" attitude in the community. I'd like to share a story, about him and other giving souls, with you today.

Matt is the Business Manager for Tacoma's Roofers Union Local #153. Back in February he received a call at work from Cecile Reider, looking for help for a friend of hers in University Place. It seems the friend had hired a non-union roofing contractor to tear-off her old roof and put on a new one. They entered into a signed agreement in November of 2008. The homeowner was asked to pay before work was started and did so.

The old roof was removed, along with the pipe boots and the metal wall flashings around the chimney. The roof deck was inspected for damage and the plywood sheathing (one sheet) was replaced. New felt paper was applied over the plywood decking and the contractor was to return for the installation of the new shingle roof and the other necessary material that had been removed.

When the roofing contractor returned, the old roofing material was cleaned-up and removed from the property. The homeowner asked when the new shingles would be applied...and was informed that the job was finished. Exit one contractor, leaving the homeowner to cover the exposed roof with tarps before the storms of the winter. The family residence took a beating, with extensive damage to the interior aggravating medical conditions.

After hearing the story, Matt called Pabco Roofing Industries and received a promise of donated shingles; Pioneer Building Supplies promised roofing accessories and Bosnick Roofing Inc. (a union roofing contractor) gave plywood sheathing and equipment. Matt put the word out to the union journeyman roofers and apprentices from Local #153...he needed their time and labour.

Gary Bruce, Paul Hoffer, John Reyes, Dennis Merritt, Jeff Haley, Greg Benson, Bob Smiley, Matt Stanglend, Laine Ruscin and Kili Eagletail volunteered to pitch-in. They removed all of the felt paper, re-inspected the roof deck and replaced several more sheets of damaged plywood before applying the new roofing material. The property was then cleaned and all the roofing debris removed by the volunteer crew.

Union roofers take pride in their professional work and pride in their community. A call went out in the neighbourhood and was answered. Now a family is safe in their home, with renewed faith in humanity. Cecile Reider is an incredible friend and neighbour who began the wave of good works. Good for you Cecile! A big thank you to all who worked so hard, with pride in their jobs and companies. Now this is a story (there's more to it) that should be picked up by the local news media.

Today my beloved husband is celebrating his 56th. birthday. Happy Birthday honey...I love you and I'm so proud of everyone involved. Here's to the Union Roofers, shops and supply companies...and to good neighbours. Bravo!


Kim Thompson said...

Happy b-day, Matt! You are AWESOME--the moment I met you, I liked you immediately! Congrats to you and your buddies for a job well done and to Lorraine for reporting a good news story!

JosephMcG said...

You are a blessing
Through and Through
Giving, Caring Sharing
I am so pleased to with
To You
Happy Birthday
Wonderful Matthew


Mizu Sugimura said...

Happy Birthday Matt! It's quite clear that not only you're a simply wonderful guy but a incredible "neighbor" as well. Thanks for being a part of our community and three cheers for all of your union colleagues!

JosephMcG said...

Say, Matthew, please let every day be a special day where we can celebrate with you, your birth..
stay loving, courageous, and sensitive...

Stephanie Frieze said...

I hope Matt had a wonderful birthday, Lorraine. Let this be a morality tale to others who seek to get a big job done without knowing who they are working with. My husband hired a "roofer" like a pig in a poke and ended up having to get a trained professional to finish the job.

Brendan Gertner said...

Two years after, Matt's genuine concern, together with the union's efforts, is still a strong testament to helping those who are in need without expecting anything in return. Roofers, and everyone running any business for that matter, should always be responsible for what they do and extend all the help they can. Integrity and honesty should always be shown. I'm sure that they feel blessed with the new roof protecting their family and home.

Elizabeth Hoffnung said...

It is so nice of the union roofers and of Matt to have done such a big favor for that family. I hope more volunteers and kind-hearted people like your husband genuinely and willingly provide assistance to families who have problems with their homes. More power to you, your husband, and the Union roofers!

marufhosen said...

Thanks for the share. Great stuff, just nice!
Roofers Tacoma