The $30,000 bill to fix the leaky basement would have bankrupted the nonprofit reading center, if it wasn’t for one generous waterproofing contractor.
The Basement Health Association is proud of our members. They are good, honest business people who pride themselves in customer service and integrity. Just by the work they do every day, they better the lives of the people they work with. However, every once in a while one of our members does an exceptional service.
Thinking of the good hearted BHA members we are reminded of a story from a few years ago when a member saved a charity in need.
Here is their story:
When the Cops-N-Kids Reading Center first moved into the old building, the basement was fine. But when the rains came to Racine, Wisconsin last year, Julia Witherspoon found the basement flooded.
With $30,000 worth of work needed to fix the basement, Witherspoon didn’t know what to do. “We would have had to shut our doors,” she says. “It would have all been gone.”
The nonprofit organization runs on volunteers and donations. Even the building was purchased with a grant from Oprah Winfrey and renovated by volunteers. “It would have all been for nothing if we didn’t have a basement,” Witherspoon says. “Nothing stands without a solid foundation.”
That is when she called the Basement Health Association. BHA linked Witherspoon with Brent Montry from Tri-State Basement Repair & Waterproofing, Richland Center, Wisconsin, who took on the pro bono project. “It just floored me more than anything that someone wanted my help and I was capable of doing it,” Montry says. “I’ve gotten assistance before so I was excited to return the favor.”
Montry and his crew set out to start the work on Super Bowl Sunday. Being three hours away he needed a place to stay and a crew of volunteers. “Brent said he needed bodies—30-40 people to help him so, I called the County Jail,” laughed Witherspoon. “I figured those inmates aren’t doing anything, they can help.”
Tri-State’s crew and 30 inmate volunteers worked for three days to clear out and fix the leaky basement. Montry installed 400 linear feet of an interior waterproofing system, fixed the cracked and broken concrete floor and installed a high-efficiency dehumidifier to control the moisture. “It really was nothing too extravagant,” he says. “It doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. We were happy to have this opportunity to help somebody for such a worthy cause.”
To Julia it was more than just fixing a basement. “It is deeper than that,” she says. “Brent Montry doesn’t know these kids. He doesn’t understand what he did; what he saved. He is so humble and I am so grateful for him. He never faltered. He stuck to it and our basement is beautiful today.”