When Emma and Oscar Vaega Bravo of Forsyth County first learned they would be recipients of a brand-new roof, all expenses paid, they didn’t believe it but came to view it as providence.
“God knows our needs, and he takes care of us,” said Emma, who with her husband of 47 years has struggled financially of late.
For months, the couple had dealt with all the undesirable conditions that accompany a leaky roof: mold and mildew spreading throughout their home, warped boards from the moisture and, most significantly, breathing in the bad air borne of such conditions.
Enter Hopewell Roofing and Restoration’s Roof of Hope initiative.
Andy Morrison, owner of the company, has for the past several years built one roof around the holidays free of charge for families who need it. This year, it was the Vaegas who needed it most.
“This roof was in pretty bad shape,” Morrison said. “It was an older roof, and there was a lot of installation issues — no flashing around the chimney done correctly — so we noticed there was a lot of water getting in around the house.”
He went on to say that the brick chimney was actually moving back and forth “when you just put your hand on it … so, it was a hazard to say the least. We were able to take care of those issues and get a lifetime roofing system on there for [the family].”
Emma and Oscar Vaega Bravo expressed gratitude for the new roof over their heads at an abode where they’ve resided for about five years now. They are originally from Cuba, but have lived in America for about 10 years.
They speak some English, but translator Javier Cardona helped them explain their feelings on the matter.
The new roof, Oscar said, was a surprise. “We didn’t know about this … [and, we said] ‘oh my God, wow!’ This touches my heart.”
Wife Emma said she and her husband would not have been able to pay for a new roof.
“We didn’t have the money,” she said.
Emma added that, thanks to the problems fixed by Morrison’s company, “I can breathe better now.”
She also thanked Chuck Ingraham and Annette Metz of the Lanier Fuller Center for Housing, which helped connect the couple and the roofing company.
Ingraham said the organization aims to “help families in need to stay in their homes.”
According to its website, the Fuller Center for Housing is “a faith-driven, Christ-centered” group that promotes “collaborative and innovative partnerships with individuals and organizations in an unrelenting quest to provide adequate shelter for all people in need worldwide.”
Morrison said he too was glad to be able to help the local family.
“We like to give back to the community, because the community gives to us,” Morrison said. “I wouldn’t have been in business for nine years if it wasn’t for the people of Forsyth County.”
Emma Vaega said she was filled with gratitude for Hopewell Roofing and Restoration, as well as the Lanier Fuller Center for Housing.
“It’s hard to describe how I’m feeling,” she said. “We’ve been having a hard time … the car was broken. The people who have done this have touched my heart.”
Added Emma: “We are poor, but we are rich at the same time.”