It seemed like the American dream come true — a family of four (soon to be five) saving every penny they earned to finally buy their first-ever home.
What they ended up with was a nightmare. But luckily for the Lenihan family, it seems they’ve got a guardian angel watching over them. Or, more precisely, Auburn-based Guardian Roofing and Pest Control, who is coming in to take care of tens of thousands of dollars in repair work for absolutely free as part of their annual Halo Project.
Here’s the situation: Sarah and Luke Lenihan bought their Enumclaw home on Griffin Avenue late last year, knowing full well that the 1914-era structure was going to need some repairs and modernization. For example, the attic was unfinished, and the couple was going to spruce up that space for their two children, Remi and Ryker.
“So the day after we got our keys… we started pulling insulation, because some of it looked funky,” Sarah said. “Well, there was a reason. The roof was rotted — there was no ventilation, so the roof rotted from the inside out. And the inspector completely missed it.”
The damage was so bad that not just the roof, but the trusses, need to be completely rebuilt — a project that was far too costly for a family that spent everything they had just to buy the home. After trying unsuccessfully to submit a claim against the inspector and discovering they’d likely pay more in legal fees than what they’d win in a lawsuit, Sarah and Luke had one last option: crowdfunding.
Unfortunately, despite the effort of several well-meaning donors, the Lenihans raised less than a quarter of their $65,000 goal through GoFundMe since the account opened September 2020.
All hope seemed lost, until a friend introduced them to Guardian Roofing and their Halo Project.
The Halo Project, which started in 2018, is all about giving back to the community, said Guardian’s founder and president Lori Swanson.
“When we started Guardian in 2005, we had one van and a crew of four. Keeping our guys working was tough, but it was the local community who trusted us enough to give us their business. [I’ll] never forget how our community supported us back then —that’s why I’m so happy we are in a position now almost 20 years later to give something back to them,” Swanson said in a press release. “Every recipient of the Halo Project has truly needed our help and I feel blessed to be able to provide them some relief from the burden of a roof problem!”
The Halo Project picks who it will grant a new roof based on need and the number of nominations a particular project receives. Fortunately for the Lenihans, they had plenty of community support.
“In fact, the number of submissions for the Lenihans reached a new Guardian record — 105 submitted nominations! Almost every nomination had a kind word to say about Sarah, Luke and their children and after reviewing each and every submission, the Leadership Team at Guardian knew they had to help,” Swanson continued.
Sarah and Luke were ecstatic to find out they were chosen to receive a new roof.
“We woke up the next day, and it still kind of [felt] like a dream,” Sarah laughed. “We’re super, super thankful.”
“You kind of hear about companies doing things like this every once in a while, but to be a part of it now… I’ve never really had a company care, for sure, as much,” Luke added. “It’s a blessing.”
Work on the Lenihan’s home is expected to begin in the summer. Of course, this isn’t the only project that they need to tackle, so the GoFundMe page (www.gofundme.com/f/lenihan-family-emergency-roof-rebuild) is still open to help with foundation repairs, plumbing issues, electrical work, and other costs.
For more information about Guardian Roofing or its Halo Project, head to www.guardianhome.com/lp_pg/guardian-roofing-halo-project/.