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Giving for Giving’s Sake

Rae July Employees Give Back
December 20, 2021 at 1:00 p.m.

RCS Influencer Rae July says giving back is about building a sense of community with your team and surrounding organizations. 

Editor’s note: What follows is a discussion between RCS multi-media manager, Megan Ellsworth, and Rae July, an estimator from Chinook Roofing. You can listen to the podcast or read the transcript below.  

Megan Ellsworth: Hello, my name is Megan Ellsworth, and I am back again with Rae July for the November Influencer Response. And this month's topic is, what do you do to help your employees give back? And I'm really excited to hear what you have to say Rae. 

Rae July: Hi Megan. Thank you for having me. 

Megan Ellsworth: Absolutely. 

Rae July: So, let's see. How do we help them give back? So we do a couple things. One of the things we do is we partner with Habitats for Humanity, and we will usually do a couple of houses every year. And that's an in-kind donation with our labor, we actually have one coming up. 

Megan Ellsworth: Oh, awesome. 

Rae July: Yeah, they have a program with GAF, so they get the shingles donated there. So it's kind of an entire effort with a distributor and the contractor and a manufacturer that gets them a house done. 

Megan Ellsworth: Wow. 

Rae July: So, we do that with Habitat for Humanity, we've done a few. Yeah, we've been doing that for quite a while. And then a few of the employees here are members of National Women in Roofing. And in our chapter, we partner with Rebuilding Together southbound for the She Builds project. So every year we do a re-roof on a house for a female homeowner who wouldn't be able to afford to do it on her own. 

Megan Ellsworth: Very cool. 

Rae July: We get together with a lot of other women in the industry who are members of NWIR and we donate a roof to them as well. And at Christmas time we do things, like One Warm Coat, where we donate a coat to...Everybody brings in a coat and they donate it to the One Warm Coat foundation. We also donated to Toys for Tots. Usually at Christmas time, we'll have a box in our front office and people just bring toys in and put them in there. 

Megan Ellsworth: Wow. You guys really...You do quite a bit. You're going the extra mile there. 

Rae July: Yeah. Which we try to do little things here and there. When you have a business in a community that have people who are underserved, you have to do the best that you can to give back. And so we give back there, we also, our CEO loves animals, and so he also gives back to... There's a, I guess you call it a wildlife reserve, called Northwest Trek. Our company- 

Megan Ellsworth: I've heard of that. 

Rae July: Yeah, our company is very big on donating there. A few years ago, they built an eagle enclosure, I believe it was. And so we donated an entire metal roof, it's maybe like a picnic gazebo that they were building up there, so we did the roof on that as well. 

Megan Ellsworth: Oh, very cool. Very cool. So how many roofs do you think you donate a year? 

Rae July: It's not much, maybe four or five. 

Megan Ellsworth: Wow. 

Rae July: Yeah. It's not a lot. I mean, I know there's a lot of other roofing companies that do a lot more. It's not a lot. And there's been a couple of years, like last year, for example, we didn't really get anything done because... 

Megan Ellsworth: Right. 

Rae July: And part of it was probably the pandemic, mostly. 

Megan Ellsworth: Absolutely. 

Rae July: But we're kind of getting back into, like starting over again. Like, okay, why haven't we done this? And one landed in our lap and we're like, yeah, sure, we'll go ahead and take care of it. And even with the She Builds program that we do, this year we did it, we had from Brittany's, her company sales roof service, they donated the labor to do the tear off and dry in, and then our company donated the labor to do the install. So it was kind of a group effort. 

Megan Ellsworth: That's really sweet. I've always loved that, just people in the Northwest specifically, Oregon, cause I'm biased, but I love the teamwork there on that. That's really cool that you guys did that. 

Rae July: Yeah. 

Megan Ellsworth: You just have great people over there. 

Rae July: And you know what's kind of weird? When we do these kinds of things, we just don't post about it. We don't publicize it in any way. And I think it's one of those things where we like to give, but we want to do it in a way that it's not kind of marketed. Like, oh, look at us, we should get some brownie points because we give back. And I don't think anything is wrong with putting it out there that you're giving back, I think it depends on how you do it. And I think people do it to be in...I like when people do it to be informative, because what that does is like, oh my gosh, we should do that too, because that's how we ended up learning about [inaudible 00:05:22], another roofing company. 

They were doing it, and then NWIR decided as a chapter that we were going to do it. And then we kind of just...Our company was like, Hey, let's go ahead and do this. Some of our builders, for example, in the past, they've had back to school supply drives where they collected items for back to school. And our company kind of got together and said, oh, instead of just donating a backpack to this home builder that's doing this drive, we'll donate that backpack then we'll also have our own collection here and then make one big haul and donate. So those are the kind of kinds of things that we tend to do as well. 

Megan Ellsworth: That's really cool. And I love that you guys, it's somewhat varied. It's not just donating labor or materials or time. It's also looking into what's happening in your local area and good doing Toys for Tots, backpacks for school kids, all sorts of things. A broad variety. 

Rae July: Yeah. I mean, yeah, we were in roofing and yeah, roofs are the easiest thing to donate, but there's other things too. Back to school, when kids go back to school, it's an expense for parents, especially these last two years, it's tough, right? So- 

Megan Ellsworth: Absolutely. 

Rae July: We try to help any way that we can. 

Megan Ellsworth: That's great. Well, thank you so much for sharing that. I think it's really important topic, especially this month, that we're trying to highlight. And it's really cool what you guys are doing over there. So thank you for sharing. 

Rae July: Absolutely. 

Megan Ellsworth: Any last thoughts on this month's topic? 

Rae July: I would just encourage people to give back to the community, especially if you're operating a business in that community and there's a need there. Give back, it's good karma. 

Megan Ellsworth: Absolutely, it totally is. Absolutely. Well, thank you, Rae, and I'll be chatting with you next month for the, I can't believe I'm saying this, but for the last month of the year. 

Rae July: I know. 

Megan Ellsworth: Pretty crazy. And I'll see you then. 

Rae July: All right, good day, Meg. 

Megan Ellsworth: Thanks. 

Rae July: Bye. 

Rae July is an Estimator at Chinook Roofing & Gutters in Fife, Washington. See her full bio here. 



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