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NORTH BEND ─ Darleen Zimmerman, widow of a Korean War veteran, saw water filling her light fixtures and knew her roof needed to be fixed.

But estimates for the project were quoted from $6,300 to $9,300.

Veteran organizations from across Coos County stepped in to help, spurred forward at the request of the state’s American Legion office.

“(Zimmerman) has a family member who (reached out) to the American Legion up north, who then got in contact with the state’s American Legion,” said Krystal Hopper, project lead in helping repair Zimmerman’s roof. “The chaplain for the state legion reached out to our local commander, Tyler Nickle, about (Zimmerman) who needed help with her roof and firewood.”

As soon as this request was made, firewood was delivered to Zimmerman’s house and the roof evaluated. According to Zimmerman, she had spent four years trying to get help with her roof and said she was excited to finally find it.

“I bought the house five and a half years ago,” Zimmerman said, who is 80-years-old. She explained that the asphalt had come off the shingles, leaving them totally bare, with the worst of the leaking found where the carport met the house.

The organizations that stepped forward included businesses and nonprofits. Some of these were American Legion Post 34, AmVets Post 10, the Southwestern Oregon Veterans Outreach, Fishing Veterans of America, Oregon South Coast Patriot Guard Riders and the Life Change Church of Coos Bay. According to Hopper, Life Change Church donated $2,400 in tithing to the project and the local American Legion donated $850 which it earned from its participation in the recent ATV Takeover event. The Southwestern Oregon Veteran Outreach, also known as SOVO, put an additional $500 towards the project, while AmVets donated $100.

Roto-Rooter and Southport Lumber also made material donations for the project, Hopper said, while Stangel Construction donated labor.

“…(There were) a couple other small personal donations from people,” Hopper said. “We raised over $3,000.”

Roseburg Forest Products also donated 70 sheets of plywood and “with the cost of wood right now, that was a great donation,” Hopper said. “They gave us shop grade, so could have minor defects. We needed 56 sheets and they threw 70 in there in case there were edging issues.”

Zimmerman said that her roof, as well as the roof over the car park and the partially covered deck, were fixed last week in just three and a half days.

“(It’s) the fastest I’ve ever had anyone do something,” she laughed. “I felt so loved. They did the whole thing and they did a good job.”

Hopper said she was just grateful to work with the different veteran organizations and see “people stepping up and coming through.”

“Having help with my roof … I can’t believe it,” Zimmerman said. “I’ll find a way to pass it on.”


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