When you hear about struggling veterans across the country receiving much-needed home renovations, it’s one company that’s often providing the assistance: The Home Depot.
For years, the home improvement store has made a commitment to helping veterans any way it can — including donating supplies and having its employees offer volunteer labor. And for the past four years, the merchant has used its Celebration of Service to rally its employees between September 11 and Veterans Day to partner with nonprofits nationwide to refurbish 1,000 homes for people who’ve served our country.
Through the program, The Home Depot employees volunteer their time for renovation projects during their days off. There’s no compensation, and despite the fact that they’re not required to participate, hundreds of workers do so each year.
Recently, five Home Depot employees joined 19 volunteers from Oregon Paralyzed Veterans of America to renovate the home of Army veteran Daniel Service in West Salem, Ore. Service left the military in 1991 after he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and since 2008, has been in a wheelchair. Volunteers repaired and painted a deck, built a portable greenhouse, replaced security lights and more for the disabled veteran.
“It’s wonderful for me to see them honor my husband, and it’s such a great thing for others to see what Home Depot is doing,” Service’s wife, Beverly, tells Capi Lynn of the Statesmen Journal. “They are volunteering their time and giving their hearts.”
Meanwhile on the opposite corner of the country, Gulf War Navy veteran Carol Semplis of South Florida was struggling to navigate the old flooring in her house after a foot infection she contracted during her service resulted in the amputation of her big toes. “I don’t have any big toes and my feet have been giving me a lot of trouble. That floor was making it worse,” she tells Oralia Ortega of CBS Miami.
This week, volunteers from the Home Depot installed new wood flooring and tile, revamped the landscaping, added a garden and painted her home.
“These veterans bravely served our country and basically this is the least we can do by giving back,” Nadene Rose, manager of the Oakland Park Home Depot, says.
Thanks to an army of busy volunteers, hundreds of veterans will receive refreshed, snug homes before winter.
MORE: When This Vet’s House Started to Crumble, Home Depot Stepped in with a $20,000 Renovation