Board members, volunteers and home recipients working with the Guadalupe Valley Habitat for Humanity are used to getting help from the community.

But a recent donation from an area business was a bit more than expected, said Carlos Moreno, the build committee chair for the local Habitat affiliate.

“This company actually does metal roofing. We went to them and asked if they would be able to help us out,” he said. “They said ‘Gladly, I want to donate the whole roof.’ Usually companies around here just do it at cost.”

So, instead of paying a portion for the roof on the home currently under construction, Habitat and the soon-to-be-homeowner are getting it for free. That’s thanks to Brad Burke at Central States Manufacturing, Moreno said.

The company actually is providing an upgrade for the house, Moreno said.

“This Habitat for Humanity house, most houses, people think they get the bare minimum, cheap cabinets, cheap roofs,” he said. “A metal roof is superior to an asphalt, shingle roof. It’s not just basic.”

Habitat for Humanity selects qualified local families and helps them build their own affordable homes, which are sold to the families through long-term, no interest mortgages. Habitat serves as lender and escrow agent — and helps the would-be homeowners learn the ins and outs of home ownership.

Prospective homeowners take courses dealing with issues such as home finance management. They help build other houses and then help build their own homes, all adding up to at least 350 sweat equity hours for Habitat families to qualify to buy one of the homes.

Volunteers help with construction, materials and more, Moreno said.

His company was looking for a way to give back to the community when he learned about the Habitat build and the need for help, said Brad Burke, general manager of Central States Manufacturing in Seguin.

It’s part of the nationwide company’s mission and mission statement, he said.

“I can quote our mission statement,” Burke said. “It says with Thanksgiving for the blessings we have been given, we are committed to serving the communities where we live and work by giving back a portion of our time, talents and profits.”

Central States Manufacturing is an employee-owned company with corporate offices in Arkansas. The business’ purpose is to create employee owners that manage the business at all levels, Burke said.

Central States Manufacturing manufactures and distributes metal building and metal roofing components, he said.

A committee decides the various projects, who the company will help and how, Burke said. The committee decided that Habitat was a worthy cause.

The company is helping with more than just the metal roof, which Burke said is valued at about $3,000.

As part of its giving back program, he said, Central States allows employees to use their regular work days to volunteer time, energy and efforts to good causes. The employees are paid up to eight hours for the days just as if they were working their regular jobs.

“It’s really cool,” Burke said. “A lot of our people give beyond eight hours. They dip into their personal time to give back to these organizations.

“It’s a very powerful part of our mission.”

In the past month or two, seven members of the staff have volunteered at the home, he said.

The additional help is invaluable, Moreno said.

“He was like, ‘how else can we help?’ We said you can help on build days,” Moreno said. “Not only did he do the roof but he’s providing man hours during the week. We need every volunteer we can get.”

Habitat has been working since the summer and hopes to complete the three-bedroom house for Elaine Achterberg and her 13-year-old son before Christmas, Moreno said.

Employees at Central States will be there helping the build, Burke said. It’s sort of just what they do, he said.

“Obviously, it is investing back into the community,” Burke said. “We’re serving where we live and work. That’s what the mission statement says.”

Dalondo Moultrie is the assistant managing editor of the Seguin Gazette. You can e-mail him at dalondo.moultrie@seguingazette.com .

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