ATLANTA, Sept. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, The Home Depot® Foundation announced that it has surpassed the three-year $30 million pledge it made in 2011 to veterans' housing initiatives more than a year ahead of schedule. As part of its second annual Celebration of Service campaign, the Foundation is now committing an additional $50 million to veterans' nonprofits over the next three years in an effort to ensure every veteran has a safe place to call home.
In addition to its funding commitment, The Home Depot Foundation's Celebration of Service campaign kicks off today with Team Depot associate volunteers repairing and renovating 100 veterans' homes in 13 cities. Over the next two months, through Veterans Day, thousands of Home Depot associates across the country will complete more than 300 service projects to benefit veterans and their families.
"With more than one million service members transitioning out of the military over the next two years and with almost half of all veterans over the age of 55, we know that many veterans are struggling with housing challenges and that this will continue for the foreseeable future," said Kelly Caffarelli, president, The Home Depot Foundation. "We pledge to recognize and celebrate the service of all veterans by using our financial and volunteer resources to ensure these brave men and women have safe, comfortable homes."
Partnerships with more than 1,000 nonprofits in the last 18 months have enabled the Foundation to contribute funding and volunteer resources to repair and refurbish homes and apartment buildings as well as service facilities. More than 5,000 veterans and their families are being served through these efforts.
"Far too many veterans find themselves without a safe place to call home after dedicating years bravely serving our country," said Caffarelli. "During Celebration of Service, our mission is not only to repair and refurbish the homes of veterans and facilities where they live and receive services, but also to show our appreciation to veterans of every generation for their service and sacrifice."
Team Depot volunteers will complete a variety of projects including handicapped accessibility modifications; general repairs and renovations; and weatherization and other energy efficient enhancements. Projects led by Team Depot today include:
Atlanta: More than 220 volunteers are working with HouseProud to renovate the homes of 11 veterans, including James Mahone, a 66-year-old veteran of the U.S. Army who will receive new gutters, landscaping, exterior paint, and safety repairs to his back porch.
Charlotte, N.C.: One hundred volunteers are partnering with House of Heroes to repair the homes of five veterans, including Billy Costello, a wounded veteran of the U.S. Army who is currently recovering at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. Team Depot volunteers will build a wheelchair ramp and install handicap fixtures, among other modifications, to make the house accessible for Billy's return home.
Houston, Texas: More than 200 volunteers are working with Rebuilding Together to refurbish the homes of 10 veterans, including Elma "Joyce" Nelson, who served in the U.S. Army both stateside and in Germany from 1973 to1976. Team Depot volunteer projects will include installing a new roof and new siding; scraping, painting and caulking the entire outside of the wood frame home; and plumbing repair in the bathroom.
Los Angeles: More than 200 volunteers are partnering with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles to repair the homes of 10 veterans, including Carlos Urbina-Tafoya, a Mexican immigrant who became a naturalized citizen at the age of 18 and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps after 9/11. Team Depot volunteers will provide landscaping and irrigation in the yard so the family, including Carlos's two boys, will be able to play and spend time outdoors safely.
Newark, N.J.: More than 100 volunteers are working with Jersey Cares to repair the homes of 10 veterans, including Freddy Brown, who served in the U.S. Army and National Guard from 1977 to 2011 during the Cuba and Iraq conflicts. He has two sons who are also serving our country. Team Depot volunteers will complete several projects at the Brown family home including replacing the ceiling in the living room and den, installing a new shower and kitchen cabinets, and fixing the front porch and back patio of the home.
Last year, The Home Depot Foundation launched its first-ever Celebration of Service volunteer campaign. Throughout the two-month initiative, nearly 9,000 store associates worked side-by-side with veterans to complete 320 service projects across the country.
While Celebration of Service officially ends on Veterans Day, The Home Depot's commitment to doing more for veterans continues throughout the year. From landscaping at Veterans Affairs hospitals to retrofitting homes for wheelchair-bound veterans, Team Depot volunteers complete more than 1,000 community projects each year, nearly half of which specifically serve the needs of veterans.
About The Home Depot Foundation
In 2011, The Home Depot Foundation focused its financial and volunteer resources to help nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving the homes of economically disadvantaged veterans. To date, the Foundation has committed $80 million to these efforts. Through Team Depot, the company's associate-led volunteer program, thousands of Home Depot associates volunteer their time and talents to positively transform neighborhoods and perform basic repairs and modifications to homes and to the facilities serving veterans with critical housing needs. Since its formation in 2002, The Home Depot Foundation has granted more than $300 million to nonprofit organizations improving homes and lives in local communities.