by KIM HILSENBECK
A work crew of a dozen or so men showed up Friday morning at the east Kyle home of Chuck Sherwood, 81, and his wife Sherry Cryer, 67, to replace the roof damaged by a fallen tree branch on Feb. 25.
The company that covered Sherwood’s home dropped his homeowners insurance a while back, ostensibly because of the roof he constructed over the existing trailer home, which was leaking. He said he and Cryer never filed a claim or had any problems.
“They said they were going in a different direction,” Sherwood said.
With no insurance to help, Sherwood, an Army veteran, and Cryer were left to figure out how to make and pay for the repairs.
A photo of the roof damage on the Hays Free Press Facebook page started a stream of comments from community members who wanted to help in some way. Things started to come together when Noel Rodriguez of Buda stepped in to herd the cats, so to speak.
Rodriguez, a member at PromiseLand Church in San Marcos, organized workers, including several carpenters. He was also able to secure a $200 donation from Home Depot toward the materials. And his church also set up a donation website to collection funds from the community to help pay for the roofing repairs, which cost about $800.
More than $1,400 was raised.
Pastor Robin Steele, who like everyone else showed up in work clothes Friday, said any funds over and above the cost of the repairs would be used for additional home repairs for the couple. A quick look around the property showed that would be a practical solution.
Rodriguez, who was akin to the project site manager, said he wanted to help Sherwood and Cryer. Sherwood said he wanted the spotlight to be shined on Rodriguez for putting the whole project together.
Rodriguez is dealing with his own battles, including fighting cancer.
He said Steele has been delivering sermons recently about being salty in the community.
“What good does it do you to be in church warming a pew when the need is out there?” Rodriguez said, gesturing to the Sherwood home.
No pews were being warmed on this day. The workers, many from PromiseLand Church, arrived early to cut down additional trees to prevent more damage to Sherwood’s roof. Others climbed up ladders and began fixing the home’s roof.
Every person had a job. Workers were humming along, sawing, hammering, banging. The sound of hard work was continual. But Sherwood didn’t seem to mind the noise.
“These guys are fabulous, we’re impressed by them,” Sherwood said of the crew. “It reminds me of a barn raising.”
“It’s kind of overwhelming,” Cryer said.
The work crew included Ken Button, Herbert Johnson, Rob Steele, Laddie Bordovsky, Eldon Wright and Raul Ibarra from PromiseLand. Mike Biggs, an employee from Home Depot who also happened to be a neighbor of Sherwood’s, donated his time to come out and help. Associate Pastor Will Krauss was with the group cutting up the extra wood.
“We’re just being salty,” he said of his group’s effort. “This is how we serve God,” Krauss said.
Clearly Rodriguez has been paying attention on Sundays.
“Salt in action. It’s wonderful,” Steele said.