Community Leaders & Caring Neighbors Unite to Help Local Veteran
by Sharrell Smith, marketing assistant, Antis Roofing, Irvine, California
From Western Roofing Jan/Feb ’13
Former U.S. Marine Master Sergeant Leroy “Pops” Williams has spent much of his life giving back to others. He’s living proof that what goes around does indeed come back around. Williams’ was in jeopardy of losing his home of 50 years until local businesses, concerned friends, and community managers stepped in to save “Pop’s” home.
Charles Antis, owner of Antis Roofing & Waterproofing, Irvine, Calif., received a phone call from one of Pop’s concerned neighbors asking for help to replace an old leaking roof on the home that Williams has lived in for over half a century. Antis sent out his workers to tarp the home for protection against a summer storm, then immediately reached out to his business and philanthropist connections to organize a team to help save Pop’s house. The big day came Saturday, October 20, when Antis Roofing employees, concerned neighbor, Linda Mansfield, and a contingency of giving community partners joined together to install a brand new roof for Leroy “Pops” Williams.
Mansfield started the chain reaction of kindness earlier by rallying friends and neighbors to assist in rebuilding interior damage inside Pop’s home caused by previous rainstorms. She also reached out to Dick Payne of Habitat for Humanity, Orange County, who donated leftover shingles. It was Payne who connected her to Habitat for Humanity OC board member, Antis. Antis met with Williams and set the date of October 20 to complete the project with entirely donated new materials and labor.
Mansfield is quick to point out that while Pops is in need of help he is well deserving of some assistance. According to Mansfield, “Pop’s is all about giving. His greatest contributions were to his neighborhood, where he was always happy to lend a hand. Whether it was driving an elderly member to his local church, running errands, or doing some good old-fashioned physical labor, Pop’s would do it with a smile.” Mansfield goes on to say, “Pops has been like a father to me. I am going to do whatever it takes to help him live out the golden years of his life in the house he’s called home for over 50 years.”
Neighbors weren’t the only ones to take notice of Pops’ generosity. Pops has given regularly to organizations such as Children’s Hospital, American Red Cross, The Veteran’s Association, and UNCF. Regional communications manager at American Red Cross-OC, Daphne Hart, stated, “Mr. Williams has long been a supporter of our organization and it’s wonderful to see the community come together to support someone who truly believes in helping others.”
Many other local businesses joined Antis Roofing and the American Red Cross. Antis stated, “The spirit of social responsibility is strong within our work community. Malarkey and Habitat for Humanity OC have donated the roofing shingles, D & D Demolition donated the demo work, OC Metals donated all of the flashing, ALL Materials donated the waterproofing, nails, and caulking, and Speedpro Imaging is creating banners to thank all of the sponsors.” Antis went on to say, “I got goose bumps when the national headquarters of American Red Cross told me about all of Pop’s donations over the years. It is awesome for all of our partners to show up and give a little back to Pops.”
Williams is a 78-year-old former master sergeant with the United States Marines where he served proudly, as he often says, “For 21 years, 6 months, and 14 days.” Mansfield said that, “Pops is a sweet and gentle man with a deep understanding of compassion and gratitude.”