In 2002, Susie Kernodle (a lifetime Girl Scout) and Lori Herrick volunteered to assist with a church project to repair a roof for someone who couldn’t afford a professional. They ended up being the only two who showed up to work that day. Fully expecting to be sent home since there weren’t enough people there to help, Susie and Lori were surprised to hear Billy Honeycutt, the president of Rutherford Housing Partnership who was heading up the roofing project, say “Pick up your hammers and let’s get to work!”
When the three of them had finished one section of the roof, Kernodle and Herrick began to formulate the idea of gathering a group of women to finish the rest of the house. Thus, began the Women Roofers. What started as a church project for one person is now this group’s mission.
Women Roofers is a group of volunteer women (and men who choose to join) that repair and replace roofs for those in need. Working in partnership with the Rutherford Housing Partnership in Rutherford County, this group of women have been roofing together since 2002 and become close-knit friends with a big heart for helping people.
Recently, they extended their roofing skills to GSCP2P, after one of the Women Roofers (a former Girl Scout staff member) knew that the Troop House at Camp Ginger Cascades needed repairs. The group quickly jumped on the opportunity to assist at camp and wanted to get Girl Scouts involved in the project as well.
They began their work on the Troop House on a Saturday morning, and by Noon, they had already repaired the whole roof! The Women Roofers spent the rest of the day and evening enjoying camp.
Nell Bovender, executive director of Rutherford Housing Partnership and a Women Roofer volunteer, said ““Even if you can’t get up on a roof, you can still find ways to help out in your community. This is what Women Roofers is all about. They love encouraging people to get out and help out, and they specifically love to teach women and girls roofing and construction skills. Construction skills are not difficult. There is just some practice involved.”
The Women Roofers love what they do and are always excited to share their knowledge and offer support to women and girls who are interested in learning new life skills or going into a hands-on trade. Because according to Bovender “If a woman wants to go into something, there is no reason she shouldn’t consider it if she chooses!”
The Women Roofers know that there are endless doors of opportunity for women now, including construction, and they are eager to help girls and women do whatever they want to do. The group is always looking for new volunteers to help with projects so if you or your Girl Scout are interested in learning more, you can reach out to the Women Roofers through Facebook (Women Roofers) or at the Rutherford Housing Partnership’s website, www.rutherfordhousingpartnership.com.