By Christopher Walker Part of the overwhelming charitable response to the September 11 attacks came from organized efforts by remodeling industry groups. The National Association of the Remodeling Industry created the NARI Relief Effort, which, in addition to raising thousands of dollars for victim relief funds from its 52 chapters, organized members near New York to help more directly by volunteering their products and services at Ground Zero.

"Remodeling contractors are doers," says NARI member Doug Dervin of Double D Contractors in West Hempstead, N.Y., who helped organize a volunteer effort to complete two on-site projects in the Bronx and Staten Island for the New York Police Department. For security reasons, details of the Bronx project are unavailable, but the Staten Island project involved building a temporary shelter for relief workers and evidence. NARI estimates the donated time and materials for the two projects at over $250,000. Gregory Mangini of the NYPD thanked the organization, saying the projects would "greatly assist the NYPD with theongoing investigation of the event." The National Association of Home Builders established a relief fund known as the Home Builders Care Victims' Relief Fund, which quickly raised almost $9 million to "assist victims of terrorism, including the rescue workers and other victims of the September 11 attacks on America," an NAHB statement said.

And Fulton, Md., consulting firm Remodelers Advantage delivered $17,000 to the American Red Cross that the company and its members donated. "I always knew remodelers had hearts of gold," says Linda Case of Remodelers Advantage. "I just never dreamed our members would be so generous during this period of economic downturn."