Queen of the DayNorth Carolina Women Raise Literal RoofsParry Ernsberger

NORTH CAROLINA! Come on and raise (the roofs) up! Take yo’ shirt off, twis — Sorry, I got a little carried away.

I just got SO excited at the prospect of being able to rep some wonderful ladies from my home state that I broke out in Petey Pablo. It happens.

The wonderful ladies I speak of are the Women Roofers, a volunteer-supported group of nearly one hundred moms, grandmothers and widows who repair and replace roofs for the elderly and disabled in and around Forest City, N.C. It all started when Nell Bovender, 59, sprang into action during her church’s “Make a Difference” day.  She’d heard about a member of the congregation who couldn’t afford to have their roof replaced, so Nell simply suggested, “Why don’t we redo a roof?”

Expecting the parishioner in charge of the project to delay the repair until they could find a sufficient number of men to join, Bovender and the two other women who initially signed up for the job were pleasantly surprised to hear their supervisor say, “‘Pick up your hammers and get to work!”

So that’s exactly what they did. The group has grown to 80 strong in the ten years since they got to work, and the women have repaired 67 roofs for the elderly and disabled.

“Besides being a mother, this is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done,” says 48-year-old co-founder, Lori Herrick.

Supply costs are totally out-of-pocket, labor done free of charge. None of these women are looking for extra income, they just want to sling a hammer, do some good and get in a little girl-talk every now and then.

“I’ve often said our grandmothers used to do quilting bees,” Bovender says. “And that’s what we’re doing up there on the roof.”

Feature image via People

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