Students raise roof with nonprofit

  Instead of relaxing before finals week, some students have spent their free time volunteering in the Burlington community. A group of students joined Rebuilding Together Greater Burlington’s 10th project of the year on Nov. 16 by replacing a roof for a recently widowed, elderly man in Huntington, according to a Rebuilding Together press release.  Rebuilding Together Greater Burlington is a nonprofit organization that works through volunteers and donations to help low-income homeowners with renovations and repairs for their home. The organization can do just about everything from fixing a leaking roof to repairing a heating system, said Professor Charles Ferreira, board member of Rebuilding Together. Ferreira also said that students worked six hours next to carpenters, painters and electricians learning about construction and the skills they may need when they become homeowners, he said. “We stripped the existing roofing materials off and then laid new paper and rain guard,” senior Ellen Ross said. The project was supposed to be finished in a day, but since the roofers were not able to come, it took longer, she said. “My boyfriend and I went back to help the Saturday before break,” Ross said.  “We laid more paper, making sure it would be rain tight until a roofer could come and put down shingles.” Rebuilding Together Greater Burlington does four to 11 projects per year at no cost to the recipients, Ferreira said. “We take no money for administration,” he said. “Every nickel people donate goes to the projects. We run on volunteer help, from UVM students to technicians.” In the event that a job is too dangerous for the volunteers, Rebuilding Together hires trained professionals to help complete the project, he said. “Everyone that volunteers has a great time,” Ferreira said. “We provide a T-shirt, Dunkin’ Donuts and lunch.” Ross said she acquired important skills from volunteering with Rebuilding Together.  “I learned to use a pneumatic nail gun while we were working which felt pretty bad-ass and terrifying at the same time, but it was also kind of empowering,” she said. As a female on a construction site, Ross said she could have felt like a minority, however, said that she was treated equally and had an enjoyable educational experience. Students are welcome to volunteer for future projects at rebuildingtogetherburlington.org