Roofing contractors don’t always get a fair shake, having to deal with negative stereotypes about working a dirty job or being dishonest. But the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed two truths about the industry.

The first is that roofing is essential for helping people stay safe by literally keeping a roof over their heads. The second is that there are generous roofing contractors around the country that want to take care of the people under those roofs.

As previously reported by RC, many roofing contractors give back through free roof giveaways or supporting local charities and organizations. In spite of the challenges caused by the pandemic, roofing companies continue to support others.

Take for example Ridgeworth Roofing in Frankfort, Ill., and its owner, Rod Petrick. He heard that Cancer Support Center, a nonprofit organization that provides critical supportive care programming to anyone living with a cancer diagnosis, was in dire need of support to stay open during the pandemic.

Ridgeworth Roofing sponsored the nonprofit’s first-ever virtual telethon, donating $500 to the cause. The telethon raised $70,000 for the center.

“You make a living in the roofing industry and you are able to also give back,” Petrick said. “You leave the world a much better place than when you started.”

Ridge Valley Exteriors in Georgia also helps families affected by cancer with its “Roofs for a Cure” campaign that donates proceeds to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In June, the contractor expanded this program to include a giveaway that provides a different kind of cure: a free roof for a frontline worker.

“We know that these people are laying their lives on the line to help everybody out, and it can be a scary situation, so we want to help them out, make sure they’re safe indoors and they’re not experiencing leaks and mold and things like that,” said Walker Patterson, vice president of Ridge Valley Exteriors.

Ridge Valley Exteriors weren’t the only roofers providing free roofs. Thanks to to the feedback from its first roof giveaway in 2019, Florida-based Noland’s Roofing is giving away four free roofs in 2020. In an interesting twist, if the winners already had recent roofing work done by Noland’s Roofing, they’ll receive a check for the value of the giveaway.

“We’re a family-owned business, and we feel it’s right to try and give back to those that help support us,” said Justin Shelton, vice president.

After receiving funding from the Payroll Protection Program to keep its workers employed, Joe Guidone of Horning Roofing and Sheet Metal Co. in Indianapolis, Ind., paid its good fortunes forward by repairing the leaky roof of the Jerusalem Temple Apostolic Faith Assembly Church free of charge.

“Our company got some COVID money from the government, and we decided to utilize it in a very helpful way,” Guidone told CW-affiliated WISH-TV.

Roofers also made sure families didn’t have to worry about food during the pandemic. 321 Roofing in Merrit Island, Fla. donated 10% of its proceeds to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida with the goal of donating $250,000. Gold Key Roofing, also in Florida, donated two pallets of dog and cat food to the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando to help families in need of pet supplies.

In May, during National Nurses Month, National Women in Roofing donated gift bags full of treats to employees at Wheeling Hospital in West Virginia, providing enough goodies for more than 300 nurses to enjoy.

Manufacturers are getting in on the giving back too. GAF partnered with Interfaith Food Pantry in Parsippany, N.J. in June to hold a free drive-thru farmer’s market, providing space at its Parsippany campus to allow the farmer’s market to operate safely.