Giving back to the Penzell Family
“I told my daughter nothing is free, and I didn’t think they[Cenvar] would come and fix it. I couldn’t believe that someone would do that for us,” says Lidia Penzell after her initial meeting with Jordan Rogers, the General Manager of the Charlottesville branch of Cenvar Roofing. A tree had previously fallen on the roof of her home, but when she tried to file an insurance claim, her insurance company had told her the damage was not that bad and refused to fix the roof. Over time, however, the roof began to leak over her bedroom. The leaking was so bad in the area above her closet that water dripped onto Lidia Penzell’s clothing.
To make matters worse, Lidia had recently lost her husband in December, and as the primary earner, her husband’s sudden passing meant that the family was in a dire financial situation. Lidia’s daughter, Marguerite, says that her father handled all the insurance and financial information for the family, and that they were forced to put all their regular bills on credit cards after his death. A delay in the processing of the death certificate meant that the family has not been able to access any of his benefits either.
Recognizing the incredibly difficult spot that the Penzell family was in, Marguerite’s friend set up a Go Fund Me page on the family’s behalf. The Go Fund Me page eventually caught the attention of Charlottesville Office Manager, Nicole Gibson, who suggested that Cenvar Gives take on the roofing project for the Penzell family.
When Jordan Rogers went out to the family’s house, he immediately noted the roof needed a full replacement. “The ceiling was falling in and dimpling in some places, there was possibly mold in the attic (over the spot where water was leaking into Lidia Penzell’s bedroom). It was apparent that the family really, really needed help, and I knew right away we were going to do this project,” Rogers says.
“I asked them how much it would cost, because I don’t have the money,” Lidia Penzell remembers. “I couldn’t believe that they would come and do it for free,” she says. “My daughter told me, ‘Mom, I think they will come.’”
About a week after his initial visit, Rogers and his staff performed a full replacement of the roof. The full replacement means that the family “won’t have to worry about anything down the line,” Rogers explains. Lidia Penzell was brought to tears while remembering what it was like to see the Cenvar Roofing staff replacing her roof: “They really came and showed up, and I was so happy. It was a miracle, and [Cenvar Roofing] was like an angel for us.” Marguerite adds, “It was surreal … the whole time it seemed too good to be true. It was such a stressful time, and it took the biggest weight off our shoulders.”
In discussing the roof replacement, Rogers says, “I’m incredibly happy to have met them and that we were able to help them.” “As a company, we have the resources to help our community. This was a woman in need and we as a company can help her, and we will. We’re not all about the money, we’re about the people and our community,” Rogers explains.
Although the circumstances that led to the roof replacement were obviously heartbreaking, Marguerite notes the roof replacement process “feels like a miracle.” “Jordan and Nicole were such kind, sweet, welcoming people. We didn’t have to do anything [regarding the roof replacement], they took care of everything, and it was a huge weight off our shoulders. It feels like everything fell into place perfectly,” she says. “I cannot be more grateful to have complete strangers do so much for us,” she adds.
The Penzell family does not feel like complete strangers anymore, however. They are now part of the Cenvar Roofing family.