LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A Little Rock roofing and construction company crew drove to Louisiana in early September to help families in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. They returned this week for Thanksgiving before going back to the damage.
Riley Hays Roofing & Construction sent around 20 people to Louisiana and Mississippi to help in hard-hit areas. The group worked on around 1,000 homes, according to the company’s namesake and owner.
“We took a couple travel trailers, found somewhere that had available space,” company owner Riley Hays said. “We’ve been there ever since.”
Hays said the group tarped and rebuilt roofs in these devastated areas, using rolls of reinforced materials to keep debris and water out of homes. The company contracted with insurance companies and FEMA to receive payment and tarped homes for free if homeowners couldn’t pay.
“You just start seeing the devastation and feeling for these people,” Hays said. “You just want to help.”
Hays’ family is happy to have him back, especially its newest member.
“I have a brand new baby who’s three months old,” Hays said.
Hays is no stranger to helping in catastrophic situations.
“It kind of started when we went to the storm last year—Laura,” Hays said.
Despair is a norm in these situations, Hays said, but the spirit of Arkansas still shines through.
“I’m thankful to live in a state where there are people willing to help,” Hays said.
The group plans to return to resume working next week. Hays said he’s thankful for the opportunity to help people when it’s needed.
“It’s possible you can help people anywhere you want to,” Hays said. “You’ve got to put the effort in to make this happen.”