‘There is still kindness in the world’ says Sandy recipient of roofing servicesDec 14, 2020 02:56PM ● By Heather Lawrence
The Fullmer family of Sandy get solar panels: back row, L to R dad Dallas, mom Elizabeth, son Aiden; front row, L to R children Maggie, Claire in photo and Emmett. (Bear Ackerman/RoofTek)
By Heather Lawrence | [email protected]
The Elizabeth and Dallas Fullmer family of Sandy has experienced the greatest fear of every parent—that their child will get sick, and they will run out of options. But in the depths of heartache, they also learned that kindness still exists when a neighbor recommended their house as a project to a local roofing company.
“We have four children, Aiden, Claire, Emmett and Maggie. Two of them have needed life-saving medical care. Maggie is 3, and she was born with a congenital heart defect. She had multiple surgeries and was in the NICU for several weeks.
“Our daughter Claire was diagnosed with medulloblastoma brain cancer in 2018. Despite multiple treatments and surgeries, her fighting spirit continued even through her last breath in 2019,” Elizabeth Fullmer said.
In the midst of fighting their children’s medical battles, the Fullmers had little time, energy or finances left for home maintenance. Their roof in particular was in bad shape.
“It leaked like crazy. In the kitchen, every time it rained, you could see water coming down the cabinets. My husband was ready to YouTube how to do a roof yourself so we could get it on by winter,” Elizabeth said.
Mandy Mounteer, the Fullmers’ friend and neighbor, thought there might be someone who could help. She called around to roofing companies and asked if they ever did pro bono projects for families in need.
“After a lot of ‘no’s’, she finally got a ‘let me check,’” Elizabeth said.
That response was from Millcreek-based company RoofTek, owned by Jake Ackerman. “Jake called us back and he was so empathetic. He came to look at our roof and said, ‘You guys need this. Claire is living in this house, trying to recover. We’re going to take care of this for you,’” Elizabeth said.
RoofTek donated the supplies and labor. “They tore off the whole thing and found four layers of tiles, which is illegal. They had to replace the sub roof. When they got into it, we realized it was something we never could have done ourselves,” Elizabeth said.
They got the new roof on before winter 2018, with a promise to install solar panels when life calmed down for the family. RoofTek made good on their promise and finished installing solar panels on Nov. 20, 2020.
“We’ve been in touch with Jake ever since. We made a new friend. Even when we were going through the worst time in our lives, there is still kindness in the world. People still really care,” Elizabeth said, getting emotional.
For owner Ackerman, the project quickly became personal. “We weren’t in the business of donating roofs at that time. But this was different—it wasn’t even them calling to ask, it was a neighbor. We met them, and their kids were so dang sweet. I said we have to do this,” Ackerman said.
As a parent, Ackerman empathized with all the Fullmers were going through. “If my kid was sick, I’d do anything and sell anything to make them healthy. We just wanted to make it happen. And when it was done they just cried,” Ackerman said.
Ackerman got excited about helping other people, so they added a nomination form to their website, www.rooftek.com, where people can nominate someone in need. It’s under the heading ‘Why RoofTek?’ and then ‘RoofTek cares.’
“The RoofTek Cares initiative provides a total roof replacement service for people who have insurmountable struggles. People can nominate individuals and families who they think could benefit.
“RoofTek orders all materials, performs the work and provides warranties so the family can focus on what’s most important—getting back to stability,” said Spencer Willis, marketing director for RoofTek.
“It’s not cheap to do something like this, but it’s so impactful. RoofTek was amazing. We still have bills, money is still tight and I lost my job due to COVID. So things like this help,” Elizabeth said.
“This experience has redeemed my faith in humanity. With so many awful things going on in the world, there are still people who care. I just get chills every time I think about it,” Elizabeth said.