Howard and Linda Smith, a retired couple from Hamburg, won a free roof installation through Mast Roofing & Construction’s No Roof Left Behind.

“It’s a wonderful group of people. When we found out we were one of the final four and then when we got the final word we were the winner, we were ecstatic, to say the least,” said Howard during the installation on July 9.

“I think it’s just amazing,” said his wife, Linda. “Makes me almost cry about what they’re doing for us.”

Corrie Mast of Mast Roofing, which is based in Oley, said the company’s goal through No Roof Left Behind is to lift a burden for a Berks County family. This is their seventh year offering the program.

“A roof is not the most exciting thing in the world. I mean it’s not a new car or something flashy but when you need one, it’s a huge burden and it weighs on you,” said Mast.

Out of 14 nominations, four were named finalists and the public cast votes online, selecting Howard and Linda Smith as the winners.

“What stood out for us for this family was they are a hard working family, really great family values, but they came upon trouble,” said Mast.

Howard had to have half his leg amputated because of cancer. No longer able to drive, he is not able to work. His wife Linda works part time to help out with the finances. Being retired, one of their concerns is being able to pay property taxes.

“A complete life change,” said Mast. “They want to stay in their home but if you have this big expense of a roof, eventually they might not have been able to stay in their home that they built some 30 years ago. If this was taken off their plate, it would be a really good help for them.”

For Howard and Linda, a new roof means “everything.”

“Keeping the home going… It’s a relief to know in our senior years we don’t have to worry about replacing the roof again,” said Howard.

They built their home in 1970 and the last time they replaced the roof was about 1990. Their son, Jeff, who lives next door with his wife Vicki, has been patching and repairing the roof but feared the roof would fail this winter due to its old age. Jeff nominated his parents for the new roof.

“We try to do surprises and we did this year. We came and surprised both families (Howard and Linda as well as Vicki and Jeff Smith). It was a great surprise,” said Mast. “They’re so grateful. You could see the tears a little bit.”

“We were actually shocked. The surprise was for them and for us,” said Vicki. “We’re very pleased and grateful and blessed.”

A new roof means a peace of mind, said Vicki. “It means my in-laws can safely stay in their house. It’s a relief for all of us because financially it would have been a burden for all of us to figure out how to put this all together and it would have been a challenge so we’re just grateful.”

Mast encourages the public to make nominations in next year’s No Roof Left Behind which is open to any Berks County home owner who is current on their mortgage. For more information, visit https://www.mastsroofing.com/no-roof-left-behind/.

“This program will not work if people do not nominate other people, just nominate, nominate, nominate, whether you think you deserve it not,” said Mast.

Sixteen local sponsors contributed to this effort by giving monetary donations as well as products and services to assist with the No Roof Left Behind project: Chick-Fil-A of Broadcasting Square (feeding our crew during the install), Mack & Sons Container Service (donating the dumpster), ABC Supply Co. Inc. (delivering the shingles and providing accessory materials), We Logo It! (designing donating our Tshirts), WEEU, Trace Pheasantry, RKL, Macaroni Kid of Reading, Masthof Press & Bookstore, Graber Letterin’ (signage), Fleetwood Lumber and Flooring, East Pointe Search Group, Runwell Solutions, and Tree Branch Media. CertainTeed, a national shingle manufacturer, is donating the shingles for the project.

No Roof Left Behind is a nationwide program that gives people in the community a way to help their neighbors that have fallen on hard times. The No Roof Left Behind program provides a local contractor the framework to provide a new roof at no cost to a deserving homeowner in need.

Mast Roofing & Construction, Inc. has been serving the Berks County area for more than 20 years and specializes in all types of residential roofing.

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Lisa Mitchell is an editor for Berks-Mont Newspapers, covering news and events in the Northeast Berks County area.

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