Sumter United Ministries needs volunteers, donations to provide new roofs to needy

BY KAYLA ROBINS
kayla@theitem.com
Posted 12/19/17

Nothing dampens the holiday spirit like having an old, leaking roof and being unable to afford to repair it, officials and volunteers at a nonprofit in Sumter know, so they are trying to collect donations and wrangle volunteers to help their …

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Sumter United Ministries needs volunteers, donations to provide new roofs to needy

Posted

Nothing dampens the holiday spirit like having an old, leaking roof and being unable to afford to repair it, officials and volunteers at a nonprofit in Sumter know, so they are trying to collect donations and wrangle volunteers to help their community members in need.

Sumter United Ministries tries to replace the roof of a home of someone in need throughout the year, and some families have been on a wait list for six to eight months, Mark Champagne, executive director of the emergency food, financial, medical and emergency assistance group, said.

"I've seen ladies putting buckets on their beds, 80-year-olds," he said.

Some in need of a new roof are elderly, some are disabled - the nonprofit also installs wheelchair ramps to non-compliant homes or ones that need updates - and some are families whose parents simply don't have enough to spare the cost.

"[Volunteering] is mostly geared toward adults and geared toward college kids," Champagne said.

Help is needed in manpower and monetary donations, he said. Volunteers do not need experience in construction, and not everyone must get on the roof. People can also help pick up debris and nails and do other tasks on the ground.

Champagne said the nonprofit "has some block grant money for city homes" but that more is always needed.

"It costs about $2,500 per house," he said. "They just keep coming."

Clients are interviewed thoroughly to be able to receive a roof or wheelchair ramp, he said.

For more information, visit sumterunitedministries.org.