Talking With… Linda Hays of Habitat for Humanity Women Build and Allen Baldree, Allied's Florida Regional Manager

Allied Building Products Major Sponsor for St. Lucie Habitat for Humanity WOMEN BUILD Project

You’ve heard of Batman and Robin, Abbott and Costello and Laverne and Shirley. Now meet the dynamic duo of Linda Hays and Lois Gordy. Twin sisters from Fort Pierce, Florida, Linda and Lois co-chaired the St. Lucie Habitat for Humanity WOMEN BUILD project. Beginning in November 2006 with a wall raising, the project culminated on Mother’s Day weekend 2007 when the Destile family received the keys to their new 1200 square foot, four bed-room and 2-bath home.

WOMEN BUILD is a Habitat for Humanity International program that encourages women to have fun, and make a difference by building homes and communities as part of a solution to help end poverty housing.

The following are excerpts from conversations with Allen Baldree, Allied Florida Regional Manager and Linda Hays.

A Conversation with Allen Baldree, Allied Building Products Florida Regional Manager

In 2000, Allied Building Products Corp. purchased South East Wholesale Roofing Supply, a family business that Allen Baldree co-owned. The family business had a history of supporting community charities and Allied has continued that legacy of caring.

Q. Has Allied been involved with Habitat for Humanity projects before?

A. Yes, Allied is a supplier for various Habitat for Humanity projects. Over the years, various branches have donated roofing materials to projects but, this is the first time that we were a major donor. Allied feels we have a responsibility to be a good citizen to the communities we are in and actualizes this through our relationship with Habitat for Humanity.

Q. Is the local Allied branch involved in other ways in the community?

A. As a neighbor in the community, we are involved in the local Building Association and the Florida Roofing Association, which we run educational programs with.

Q. Were you at the program on May12th when the Destile family received the keys to their new home?

A. Yes, I was there representing Allied. We all gathered and formed a circle around the house. We passed the keys around the circle and then they were presented to the Destile family. The whole experience has been very satisfying and we are glad that Allied is a key player in this important work.

A Conversation with Linda Hays

Q. How did you and your sister get involved in the project?

A. We’ve lived in our community for over forty years and are very committed to the community. One day I ran into the Executive Director of the local Habitat for Humanity in the grocery store and he said he’d been meaning to call me to discuss a project. Next thing you know, my sister and I are co-chairs for the WOMEN BUILD project.

Q. How did you find the time?

A. My sister and I both retired on the same day three years ago. We were looking for a new project and this opportunity seemed as though it was meant to be.

Q. Did you feel a special connection with the Destile family since they have twins?

A. Yes, they have six daughters with two sets of twins, so my sister and I connected to them.

Q. What was the biggest challenge you faced?

A. Definitely raising the $60,000 that we needed. We are very proud that in the end we raised $68,000, ranging from individual donations to corporate donations. There was one eighty-six year old woman in the community who raised $3,000 on her own.

Q. How did you get connected with Allied Building?

A. I’ve known Allen Baldree, Allied’sFlorida Regional Manager, for many years.

I called him to discuss the possibility of Allied donating roofing materials to the project. When Allen got back to us he told us that not only was Allied going to donate all the roofing materials but that they would be a major donor on this project with a donation of $10,000. We were thrilled.

Q. How many women volunteered for the project?

A. Approximately 150 women volunteered in different capacities. We had people who were new to the community coming out, retired folks, younger woman and those who worked during the week showed up on the weekends. There was tremendous community support.

Q. Did you have experience in construction before this project?

A. No, absolutely not. We had a lot of training and support.

Q. Who did the training?

A. Habitat for Humanity has people who come on-site and train. They worked hand-in-hand with us.

Q. What did you gain from the project?

A. There are many things. But the friendships and the blessings really stand out for us.

Q. What are your plans now?

A. I may begin another project with WOMEN BUILD in the fall but for now I’m taking the summer off to spend time with family. We are very thankful to Allied Building Products for their support and generosity. We look forward to partnering again in the future.