Local businesses come together rebuilding veteran’s roof

OAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — Veteran owned businesses came together in Oak Island Monday, serving a woman who served her country and now serves her community.

Jennifer deMello served in the United States Army from 2006 to 2010. Sustaining mental and physical injuries while in the service, the disabled veteran now lives in Oak Island, taking care of her family and taking in one of her best friends from the service.

“You can tell, financially she’s not in the best position,” said project manger Jim Cesternino. “She could be charging her rent, things like that, but she’s willing to provide for her without asking for anything in return.”

That roommate entered deMello into the “Roofs for Troops” competition, a program sponsored by Monarch Roofing, picking one veteran a year to help. DeMello said she was shocked when people showed up at her door with an enormous check.

“Guess what, we’re not here to talk to you about your roof,” she remembered them saying, “You’re not just a finalist, you’re the winner! You’re the winner! Yay! ”

But that’s just the beginning of what Monarch and Veteran’s Business Collective plan to do. They’re replacing the roof, building a walkway, tending to the front yard, inspecting the house’s electrical wiring, and pressure washing. It’s all apart of making the house more of a home.

According to Cesternino, the roofing project couldn’t have come at a more crucial time.

“It was in very poor shape,” he explained. “We had some leaking in the back, we’ve already got several holes. As you can see we’ve got plywood and stuff going up all over the place because of the amount of damage that was on the roof and that was on the decking.”

The project would’ve cost deMello more than $20,000 on her own. Now, thanks to fellow veterans from our community, her family will be living under a safe roof in a clean, more accessible home.

“I feel the love,” deMello smiled. “You know, because bad things could have happened to my family had it not been repaired or replaced. And now it’s not.”

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