STERLING, Va. — To mark the 10th anniversary of its Free Roof for the Holidays program, DryHome Roofing & Siding selected two recipients for its annual roof donation. Ann Harris, a Leesburg widow whose roof has been covered with a tarp for several years, and residents of Doorways for Women and Families’ Safehouse, the only domestic violence shelter in Arlington County, will celebrate the holidays under a new roof.
“Over the past decade, we’ve given roofs to individuals and nonprofits throughout Northern Virginia. So it’s fitting that we have one of each as this year’s recipients. In both cases, the new roofs will help ease the burden of many struggling women in our community,” said Steve Gotschi, DryHome’s owner. “I’m thankful that we could play a small role in making the holidays better for them.”
Throughout November, Sterling-based DryHome accepted nominations from customers and the community to identify a Northern Virginia individual, family or nonprofit in need. DryHome selected Ann Powell and Doorways as the recipients based on their needs, the condition of their roofs, and the impact they’ve had on their respective communities.
Ann Harris lives in Leesburg where she was born. It’s in this house that her life has been redefined by cancer. She lost her sister and husband to the disease. She is now raising her sister’s children while caring for her father who has colon cancer. In nominating her, neighbor Kelly McKnight said: “It is heartbreaking to drive by and see the blue tarp that covers her home and knowing that a gracious, humble older woman lives there without the means to get a real roof and actually feel warm this winter...[a free roof] would be an enormous savings and blessing for this lovely lady.”
Receiving several nominations, Doorways for Women and Families, a leading provider and advocate for victims of homelessness, violence and abuse in Arlington, operates a safehouse for women and children fleeing domestic violence. Built in 1957, the Safehouse’s roof is 17 years old and leaks in several places. The Safehouse is home to 11 women and children on an ongoing basis, and is staffed by Doorways personnel 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist resident clients as well as to take hotline calls and offer referral counseling. Last year, Doorways gave safe harbor to nearly 70 women and their children and responded to almost 1,500 calls.
According to nominator and Doorways volunteer Tani Lublin, “replacing the roof is a costly undertaking under normal circumstances. The need is great, but funding has not been secured for this renovation. To Doorways and the women, children and staff who live and work at the Safehouse– it is not simply a roof, but a canopy of shelter and safety, a sense of security and wellbeing.”
“The whole DryHome team is doubly inspired since we get to use our skills to help two neighbors in need of roofs. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the 10th anniversary of this effort,” added Gotschi. “I know what it’s like to struggle, and this effort is my opportunity to thank all those who helped me along the way.”
Last year, Leesburg resident Barbara Green, a recent widow and school bus driver of 35 years, won the roof. Other recipients have included: Hubert Laconia, a grandfather and veteran; Good Shepherd Alliance, a nonprofit serving Loudoun’s homeless, Reston Interfaith, a nonprofit serving the homeless; Falls Church Cub Scout House; Gabriel Homes, a nonprofit serving adults with developmental disabilities; Mrs. Caylor, a Leesburg resident and volunteer; and Bernie Cline, an elderly Alexandria resident.
For more information, visit www.dryhome.com.
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