What started as a one-off church project in 2002 became a bona fide cause for a group of women volunteers, repairing and replacing roofs for the elderly and disabled in and around Forest City, N.C. More than a decade later, and with countless roofs refurbished, the all-volunteer group of more than 60 moms, grandmothers and widows called the Women Roofers is still going strong.
The women volunteers participate through Rutherford Housing Partnership, which offers resources to purchase supplies and fix roofs at no cost. With a typical roof repair taking about a day to complete, the activity affords this group of women a chance to bond and socialize.
Perhaps the most remarkable feat for the members of this crew is that the vast majority of them had never repaired a roof before they got involved in this cause. Susie Kernodle, one of the original Women Roofers, is a seamstress by trade. She caught on quickly to roof repair. “I realized it’s no different from laying out a dress pattern,” she says. “You just use different tools.”