NORTH FORSYTH -- It was the week of Christmas, and Floyd Cruse, a widower and longtime Forsyth County resident, was living under a leaking and deteriorating roof.
There were two layers of asphalt shingles. Drywall seams were falling apart. Parts were leaking, causing mildew to settle in and water to stain the walls. Materials were not even properly installed to begin with, and step flashing was not properly channeling water out.
“He’s in no position to take care of his own reroofing needs, and it absolutely needs to be done,” said Andy Morrison, of Hopewell Roofing and Restoration.
Morrison may not have a sleigh and reindeer to park on the roof to bring presents, but he gave something better than anything that could fit through a chimney: an entire roof.
“We’ll get it all done in one day,” he said earlier this week. “I got four or five guys up there today.”
Morrison had been looking for a way to give back this Christmas season when he connected with The Place of Forsyth County, an emergency services nonprofit.
Jerry Dupree runs a program through the nonprofit called Focus on Forsyth, where he finds families and seniors in need and helps satisfy their needs.
“I physically go into a home and assess the needs and try to find resources, whether that’s time or money or materials, from the most generous people here in Forsyth County,” Dupree said. “This roof replacement for this senior is just so amazing because it shows you the love and the compassion for the people of Forsyth County by people who live and work here and want to make a difference in someone’s life.”
The roof replacement may have only taken one day, but the planning began about a month ago.
“This neighborhood has grown up around him. To see this modest house among these other huge houses was just amazing in itself,” Dupree said. “This gentleman is very deserving of these resources being spent on him today to upgrade his home.
“His story was such in the fact that his wife passed away about six years ago, and tears were welling up in his eyes even six years since his wife passed away and thinking about her and how much even a thought of helping him was overwhelming him.”
Dupree called Morrison and the project he led “God-sent.”
“We can’t do what we do here at The Place without these types of commitments,” he said. “And everybody has gifts. God has given us all gifts. Sometimes it takes us some time to figure out what that is, but everyone has at least one, and utilizing those gifts to assist others in need, what a blessing that is.
“What a blessing it is to see a smile on [Cruse’s] face with everything he’s been through.”