Meadville Tribune

March 25, 2013

Raven 5 team swoops in to do good works

By Konstantine Fekos
Meadville Tribune

MEADVILLE — The Adopt a Roof program is moving slowly but surely after winter storms grounded National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) team Raven 5, expected to complete 15 roofing projects by mid-April.

With one roof and four indoor/ground-level projects down, program organizers are pleased with the team’s dedication to servicing low-income and needy individuals whether on the rooftops or on snowy solid ground.

“We’re thrilled to have the Raven 5 team with us for the next several weeks,” said Amy Woods, executive director of the United Way of Western Crawford County, in a press release. “From the minute they got here, they dove right into making improvements in the community.”

The Maryland-based team, representing national service organization AmeriCorps, has still made an impact on the local community with an influx of indoor projects, designed to utilize the team’s skillset until the weather clears for roofing repairs.

“Not one of these kids had a complaint, working all day outdoors through a snowstorm,” said Bob O’Shea, praising Raven 5 members for their selflessness and hard work on his property. “I never thought I’d be on the receiving end of such wonderful people.”

David Roncolato, Allegheny College director of community service and Make a Difference Day organizer, says it’s all part of the NCCC crew’s prerogative.

“They’re all willing to work hard; it’s encouraging,” he said. “I’m really impressed with their commitment.”

Other indoor projects completed by Raven 5 include ceiling repair and plumbing projects.

While project organizers applaud the team’s performance, financial support is still needed to provide the necessary materials to get the job done.

“We’re doing the best we can with what we have, but the needs exceed our resources,” Roncolato said. “We’re encouraged by fundraising and the community’s support. We won’t be able to meet every critical need, but we’re definitely making progress.

“I would say we’re still on schedule,” echoed Lauren Lowery of the United Way. “Donations are coming along well, but we haven’t reached our goal yet.”

Lowery released the Adopt a Roof program’s goal of $6,000, but says current funds are a few thousand dollars shy.

Roncolato estimates resource costs for one roof at about $1,000.

While money remains an issue, program organizers appreciate the community lending its help in other ways.

“Local volunteers and skilled supervisors really stepped up,” Roncolato said. “We’ve also had a great outpouring of folks helping out by providing meals for the workers. Now all we need is some cooperation from the weather.”

About 20 skilled supervisors are signed on as definite supporters, according to Lowery, with seven having been on-site already.

Additional help, as well as more indoor projects, are encouraged in case of poor weather conditions, Lowery added.

Konstantine Fekos can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at

Get involved

If you have a roof or indoor repair that you cannot afford to pay for yourself, call 724-5948, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. through March 6 to see if you can get free help. Labor is expected to span between March 11 and April 18. Also, skilled volunteers or project donors can call the United Way to lend assistance by calling the United Way at 337-1251.