This story was originally published in The Intelligencer - Edwardsville (Original Article)
EDWARDSVILLE — The Metro East Humane Society does its part every day to help animals in need, but when it needed a new roof, a group of local contractors stepped in to help them.
After the roof on the Humane Society building at 8495 State Route 143 in Edwardsville was damaged during a storm in March 2019, the insurance company agreed to pay for only half of the total replacement cost, which was about $30,000.
After several unsuccessful attempts to have the insurance company pay for the entire roof, Green Tree Home Solutions, GAF Shingles, ABC Supply and Velux Skylights donated $15,000 worth of labor and materials to pay for the other half of the roof.
Work on the new roof started on Monday and finished on Tuesday.
“The insurance company told us they weren’t going to cover full roof replacement, so we contacted two other roofing companies, who did their own inspection and sent it off to the insurance company,” said Anne Schmidt, executive director of Metro East Humane Society. “That turned into a big ordeal because neither company could get the insurance company to cover the whole cost of the roof.
“That’s when we reached out to Green Tree. They told us our insurance company was not budging, but they still wanted to do the roof and not have us pay for half out of it out of pocket. They offered to donate the other half, which is amazing.”
The effort to cover the cost for the other half of the roof was spearheaded by Rob Wiemers, a sales representative for Green Tree Home Solutions, an Edwardsville-based company that does roofing, siding and gutters.
“After the storm hit last March and the insurance company only paid for half of the roof, the Humane Society called a couple other roofers,” Wiemers said. “They said they would do half of the roof for them, but they couldn’t do the whole thing.
“They called me and I went back to the insurance company and asked them to reconsider, but they said no. I thought it was unfair to the Humane Society, so I called GAF, which is our main shingles manufacturer, and they got on board with donating the rest of the shingles. ABC Supply donated a lot of the infrastructure for the roof, Velux donated two skylights and Green Tree donated the labor.”
After a year and a half since the roof was damaged, Schmidt was thrilled to see a new roof on the MEHS building thanks to the cooperative effort of the four local companies.
“It’s been a huge headache, dealing with the insurance company and roofing companies and it was taking much longer than it needed to be,” Schmidt said. “When Rob got involved, there was immediate action. They knew insurance wasn’t going to pay for all of it and they didn’t want us to have to look for another roofing company.”
Especially during the pandemic, the Humane Society simply didn’t have the money to pay $15,000 for a new roof.
“COVID is happening right now, so our fundraising events can’t happen as planned,” Schmidt said. “That’s a big chunk of our budget that we rely on every year and something like paying for a new roof would be impossible without the kindness of these companies.”
As soon as his company was contacted by the Humane Society, Wiemers knew Green Tree had to do something to help them.
“I had been to the Humane Society before for personal reasons with animals, but I had no business relationship with them,” Wiemers said. “They just called us as a roofing contractor and asked us to take a look at their roof.
“The insurance company was very difficult to deal with, but we said we were not going to let the insurance company keep the Humane Society from getting a new roof.”
For the four companies involved in the project, Wiemers said it was simply a matter of doing the right thing.
“The Humane Society does a fantastic job and we wanted to do something to help them,” Wiemers said. “We do a lot of jobs where the insurance pays for everything, and we felt it was very unfortunate that the insurance company denied half the cost of the roof to a not-for-profit that is doing everything it can to help animals.”