Supplier supports troops with July promotion.

When Southern Roof Center's Jacksonville, Fla., branch manager Craig Green met with sales manager David Patten to discuss a special promotion, the idea was to make a contribution to the community while promoting their products and having a little fun with their vendors and customers. The resulting promotion-"Selling for Soldiers"-turned out to be a commanding success on every front.

"We wanted to do something that involved our troops," Green says. "We were looking for a way to help the families or the troops in some small way to pay back what they are doing for us." Patten contacted K.C. McCarthy, executive director of USO Jacksonville. "K.C. had several suggestions," Green says. "I really liked the suggestion to purchase international calling cards." Green's daughter is a missionary in Lima, Peru, and he knows first-hand how expensive it is to keep in touch and how much it means to the family to do so. "We thought that the international calling cards would be good for the troops and the families," he said. "It would give everyone a chance to talk without worrying so much about the amount of time."

The promotion, which ran the entire month of July, began with a cookout July 1 at the Southern Roof Center's Jacksonville office. The month-long campaign supported troops by way of the Greater Jacksonville Area USO. Southern Roof Center committed to donating $1 to the USO for every square of shingles delivered throughout the month of July. The proceeds were designated for the purchase of long-distance calling cards for the troops.

"Free long-distance calling cards are distributed to service men and women as they deploy, providing them with a means to stay connected to their loved ones during their lengthy separations," says McCarthy. "Calling cards also are distributed to our young service men and women newly arriving in Jacksonville for duty."

The USO's collection of donated calling cards was running low when Patten approached McCarthy with the concept of their campaign and asked for ideas on how the money could be spent. "I was very excited by the prospect of working with Southern Roof Center on this initiative," McCarthy says. "I had no idea what the outcome would be, but it certainly seemed like a good way to generate revenue for much needed items."

On Monday, Aug. 9, 2004, the USO was presented with a check for $12,017. "I was amazed when David told me the outcome," McCarthy says. "I never imagined a seemingly small gesture could snowball into such a large donation. This is the largest specifically targeted donation this USO has received. And it also shows other companies that there are easy ways to raise funds to support our troops. We are extremely grateful to Southern Roof Center, and many other companies... who sponsored the kick-off barbeque as well as purchased roofing materials throughout the month."

Southern Roof Center Jacksonville thanks its suppliers who joined in the effort, as well as the customers who purchased shingles to make this promotion such a resounding success. Green and Patten were recognized as "Member of the Month" by the Northeast Florida Builders Association for August.