For Americans Helping Americans® partner Big Creek People in Action, which operates a home rehab program in the summer in McDowell County, West Virginia, replacing leaking roofs are challenging, and expensive.

“You need to know what you are going to do or you can really make a mess of someone’s roof,” says BCPIA co-executive director Marsha Timpson. “We do try to do at least one a year but it is so hard to pick out the person that is going to benefit from it. I think everyone in McDowell County needs a new roof and bathroom floor!”

This summer, she chose Earl and Denise’s house, which was leaking so badly on the backside that it was beginning to destroy the ceilings and some walls inside. Even if it was repaired soon, “there was going to be a great deal of damage from it.”

Marsha knew she was tackling a big job that would take several weeks of volunteers from churches and colleges and things were going according to plan, until one of her work supervisors was injured and was off work for quite some time.

“This really put a kink in our roofing plans since he was the one who was supervising the project,” she said. “I felt so bad about leaving this roof in limbo and not having the sides closed in because that rain could just blow right in.

Finally, a group of college students arrived and were able to finish the job just in time before the first snowfall.

Marsha said she likes watching a show called Maine Cabin Masters and they are always talking about having to get a roof on before the first snowfall and talking about how the roof would “button up” the house for winter.

“Now I know exactly how they feel!!! I now refer to their house as “The Button House.”

Christmas day is expected to be as low as 38 degrees with rain forecast for the entire week after. This certainly was nothing short of a Christmas miracle for Earl and Denise.