A new roof at the Boys & Girls Club of Northwest Indiana has harbored a lasting relationship between the club and Korellis Roofing.
“We were performing a roofing project at the club, and the project manager got involved with the club, providing dinners and toys,” Korellis Philanthropy Director Kali Zaremba said. “It grew from that so that nearly everyone at the company gets involved with the toy giving.”
Though the dinners are no longer provided, the toy drive has grown to make it a more joyous holiday for dozens of families. Zaremba said the toys that at one point could be stored in a single office now have to be stacked in the Korellis lobby. The kids at the John Will Anderson branch of the club in Gary have joined the beneficiaries.
“We’ve been doing the toy drive with the club since 2011, and we support about 60 kids with presents,” Zaremba said. “We ask our office and field crews to donate new or gently used toys, which we gather and give to the Gary club. Last year they sent thank-you cards with pictures of the kids with their gifts.
“Seeing the photos of the kids opening their presents was one of the more powerful things, showing that we were making a difference to these kids for the holidays.”
The toy donations involve whole families, providing gifts to members and their younger siblings, said club Director Rose Marie Joiner.
“Our club tries to provide for the entire family whether they are members or not, and Korellis enables us to do that,” Joiner said.
“They are long-time friends of the club," added P.J. Jones, director of the Hammond club. "They also provide ice cream for about 160 kids during our summer camp program. We are really appreciative of our relationship with our community partners, and Korellis is one of those.”
“Korellis has always been very supportive of our clubs," said Alison Martin, chief philanthropy officer for the Boys &Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana. "When we have businesses that get engaged with us, they see the impact they are making on the kids, and they stay engaged. I’ve been with the organization for 25 years, and it blows my mind the level of their involvement.”
Zaremba said this is just one example of how Korellis tries to give back to the communities they serve.
“Last year we did a donation for the Salvation Army for the holidays for the organization in Munster,” she said. “We try to find ways to do that throughout the year and not just during the holiday season. The charities we get involved with tend to change from year to year. People approach us, and we take them on a case-by-case basis.”
Korellis was started in 1960 by George and Harriet Korellis as a residential roofing business operating out of the family’s home. Since then, it has grown to include industrial and commercial work with more than 120 employees.
The Hammond company is now employee owned, and it has maintained its core principles of honesty, integrity and customer satisfaction. It combines cutting edge technology and award-winning results from talented employees to remain one of the premier roofing companies in the Chicago area and as the largest roofing contractor in Northwest Indiana.
Among its many honors, Korellis was recognized for its recent work on the Chicago Public Library building in the Chinatown neighborhood, receiving a Gold Circle Award from one industry organization and a Project of the Year honor from another.
Company President and CEO Pete Korellis and his wife, Susan, started a new program this year to help the children and grandchildren of employees. In honor of the company’s founders George and Harriet Korellis, they launched a program to give up to eight scholarships of $3,000 to $5,000 each for those hoping to continue their education.
“We expect to continue doing that in the years to come,” Zaremba said. “We’ve been in business for nearly 60 years, and it’s because of the people in the Region that we want to continue to make these kinds of contributions to the community.”