Second chances. We often talk about second chances, finding ourselves, our purpose, and having the strength and determination to go after our dreams — no matter where or what stage in life we may find ourselves. 

Recently, I had the pleasure of connecting with a landscape contractor who knew all about second chances. I learned he spent five years in prison and has since completely turned his life around. His time now is spent raising his young son and running an extremely successful contracting business. 

The contractor and I spoke about giving our children better lives than we had and leaving behind a lasting legacy. 

I asked him what he planned to do “differently” to ensure his 5-year-old son wouldn’t fall into a similar situation and become entangled in the criminal justice system. 

“I keep him busy,” he said about his boy. “Extremely busy so that he doesn’t fall into the traps that I did.”

Throughout our lives, we understand the beauty of starting over and how to use the experiences and knowledge gained during those turbulent times to create something beautiful for ourselves, our families and our communities. 

Our industry is a unique space that is generous and well-calibrated for second chances. So many roofing contractors are a part of amazing organizations like Habitat for Humanity, the Boys & Girls Club, and innumerable local community initiatives. 

But, in addition to monetary contributions, many roofers also devote substantial volunteer hours to nonprofits. It’s an industry given that roofing contractors step up when those who can’t afford basic necessities need help. Roofing companies nationwide give back to their communities daily through roof donations, giveaways and more. Thousands of charitable organizations consistently receive financial gifts, including those focusing on children, community support, and various military veteran and youth organizations.

In a recent National Roofing Contractors Association news release, the organization detailed the ground-level work roofing contractors are doing in supporting projects with the Home Builders Foundation, such as a "sleeping pod community" for veterans, a home for girls escaping sex trafficking, a youth drop-in center and a family shelter for vulnerable groups experiencing homelessness or housing instability.

I’m very proud that this is the type of industry I get to work in every day. The contracting side of construction is very much purpose-driven. We know the positive effect hard work can have on our seasoned roofers — which also affects the younger generation. 

My discussion with this landscaping contractor was so inspiring. After we parted ways, I thought about how important it is to show up — particularly for those who will succeed us — to lead with understanding, grace and purpose.

It’s essential to give back whenever possible. The good fortunes we have been given can also be a chance to pass such opportunities forward to those less fortunate. Whether you’re a small contractor donating time to Habitat for Humanity or a large manufacturer directing financial resources to natural disaster funds, the act — showing up — matters. 

Believe me, this generation, now just entering our industry, is watching us and will follow our lead.

So, are you giving back to your local community? How are you leading the way for the next generation of roofers?

If you have an impactful story about your company you’d like to share, feel free to email our Editor-in-Chief, Art Aisner, at

We look forward to hearing from you!