STATESVILLE, N.C., Nov. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- "At age 19 I lost my foot after I was injured by a grenade in Vietnam. I have lived my entire civilian life as an amputee above the knee. As I aged I could not keep up with repairs on my home. Then a miracle happened – 30 volunteers from the Purple Heart Homes Front Range Chapter showed up and built a ramp, removed a tree and remodeled my kitchen," says 70 year-old Army Veteran Arthur Mayfield from Aurora, CO.
Purple Heart Homes, a national public charity based in Statesville, North Carolina, is expanding its capacity and footprint to be able to help older Veterans and their caregivers safely age in their own homes through the formation of chapters.
"We are committed to improving Veterans lives one home at a time," says Dale Beatty, Purple Heart Homes Co-founder and head of Strategic Development. "We are excited to welcome our 10th chapter in Northeast Ohio and have several more in various stages of organization."
Diana Fleming, President of Purple Heart Homes Colorado Front Range Chapter, grew up in Nebraska with a family of Veterans. "My father, my grandfather and my mother and grandmother were Veterans. Diana and her husband Monte, a Littleton fireman, are both committed to helping older Veterans in Colorado live with dignity in their own homes. "There is a big demand to help our aging Vietnam, Korea and WWII Veterans that need ramps, wider doorways, handicap bathrooms, grab bars and railings. Often times they have no one else to help," says Fleming.
Fleming described meeting Arthur Mayfield to explore what their chapter would do to help him. I watched him crawl into his bathroom and thought no one who served our country should have to crawl into their bathroom.
Purple Heart Homes Northeast Ohio chapter organizer Paul Tuggey parlays his skills as a retired Marine to engage his numerous networks to help raise funds needed to do projects for approved older Veterans. "I educate every company and organization I talk to about Purple Heart Homes and tell them about what we will be doing in Northeast Ohio. I tell them we need their volunteerism and support. I am proud to help older Veterans that served our country by being a part of this chapter."
Jaime White in Wellsville, NY asked a lot of questions at a Purple Heart Homes Chapter informational meeting when someone turned around and said you should become the chapter leader. She is now the president of the Purple Heart Homes Southwestern New York Chapter and has completed their first project for a Vietnam Veteran that needed a ramp.
White, a 40 year-old honorably discharged Army Veteran, has a can do attitude to raise funds, engage volunteers and get materials for projects donated. White has a full time job at a hospital in medical imaging. "I joined the Army to see the world and ended up in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. I am a very patriotic person and believe if someone is willing to sacrifice their life to defend our country, I am willing to sacrifice my personal time to help them live safely in their homes," said White.
Purple Heart Homes chapters have completed 44 projects and have 18 others in process. Chapters are located in Salem, SC; Greensboro, NC; Highlands Ranch, CO; Croton-on-Hudson, NY; Blowing Rock, NC; Houston, TX; Atlanta, GA; Grand Rapids, MI; Wellsville, NY; and the Greater Cleveland area OH.
When asked what advise Purple Heart Homes Chapter leaders would give to those considering forming their own chapter this is what they said:
- Have it in your heart to know you can make a difference and you can do this
- Utilize all your networks to roll up their sleeves to pitch in
- Find like minded people that share a patriotic passion to help Veterans
- If you love our country, forming a chapter provides many gratifying moments of giving back.
Media Contact: Vicki Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org, 203-984-2138
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SOURCE Purple Heart Homes