ATLANTA, Nov. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, The Home Depot® completed its fourth annual Celebration of Service campaign and celebrated a 2,500 home milestone, more than double the company's original goal to transform 1,000 homes for veterans during the two-month effort, which began on Sept. 11. More than 13,000 Home Depot associates volunteered on their days off as a part of Team Depot, the company's associate-led volunteer force, to improve veterans' homes and housing facilities in nearly 500 cities across all 50 states.
In addition to this milestone, The Home Depot Foundation is celebrating Veterans Day with the announcement of plans to match funds raised by the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation between today and December 31, 2014, up to $200,000. The match in donations will be used to help the Building for America's Bravest program continue to build smart homes for catastrophically injured veterans, including double, triple and quadruple amputees. Donations can be made at www.ourbravest.org.
"As we work to address the many housing challenges facing our nation's veterans and their families, we're committed to ensuring those who have sacrificed for all of us have a safe, affordable place to live for the years and decades to come," said Gaven Gregory, executive director of The Home Depot Foundation. "That's why we are dedicated to helping veterans across the entire housing continuum, from those who need accessibility modifications to their homes to those who have no home at all."
In 2009, the federal government announced a goal of ending veteran homelessness by the end of 2015. Since The Home Depot joined this mission, its Team Depot volunteers have impacted more than 15,000 homes for veterans.
"We couldn't ask for a better partner than The Home Depot in our mission to end veteran homelessness," said Vince Kane, head of the VA's National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans. "Wherever there's a need, Team Depot is there, and that's exactly the level of support it takes to fight homelessness among our U.S. military veterans. Our cities would not be making the progress they've made in reducing the numbers of homeless vets without the support of The Home Depot, and their ability to turn a house into a home is paying off in dividends for our veterans and their families."
"There is a tremendous need for private sector leadership in the national fight to end veteran homelessness, and the Home Depot Foundation has set a strong example for other corporate citizens to follow. In addition to its renowned Team Depot volunteers, the Foundation has provided critical funding, including more than half a million dollars to our 100,000 Homes Campaign, which helped 186 U.S. communities find homes for 31,000 homeless veterans over four years," said Rosanne Haggerty, president of Community Solutions. "The Home Depot Foundation is known nationally for its tremendous responsiveness to the needs of grantees and its willingness to provide whatever it takes to accomplish the mission of ending veteran homelessness. We couldn't do our work without The Home Depot Foundation's generous support."
About Celebration of Service
From 9/11 to Veterans Day on Nov. 11, Team Depot put its talents to work to transform 2,500 homes for veterans. The campaign's kick-off set a high bar for the magnitude of this mission, with Team Depot volunteers improving 500 veteran homes in just one day.
The projects completed throughout this two-month period addressed a wide variety of veteran housing needs, including:
- Making wounded warrior home modifications for veterans like retired Marine Joey Jones. Joey's eight-year career was brought to an end after he lost both his legs above the knee in Afghanistan. During his recovery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Joey started a Peer Visit Program to allow him and other wounded warriors to visit with, encourage and mentor more recently wounded servicemen and women in the in-patient wards. He recently bought a house that needed to be remodeled to allow for his wheelchair and other accommodations.
- Improving multi-family housing facilities such as the Midtown Terrace Suites in Houston, TX. This facility offers an incredible 286 transitional housing units for area veterans, as well as a variety of care programs and services to help veterans transition into permanent homes and successful futures.
- Helping aging veterans remain comfortably in their homes like 65-year-old Vietnam veteran Jerry Arnold, who served three tours in Vietnam with the United States Army. After his service, he went on to work for the Department of Defense for the next fifteen years. While Jerry was focused on caring for his country and his family, his home had fallen into desperate need of repair.
- Providing a safe home for women veterans like the Veterans Inc. Women and Children's facility in Worcester, MA. The facility provides transitional bed units for women and their children, but did not have family units available. Team Depot created living spaces that the residents could share with their children and gave them a home-like atmosphere. Women veterans are the fastest-growing segment of the homeless population, but facilities like this one can help stop this trend.
About Giving Back at The Home Depot
Since the first Home Depot store opened in 1979, giving back has been a core value for the company and a passion for its associates. Today, The Home Depot, in partnership with The Home Depot Foundation, focuses its philanthropic efforts on improving the homes and lives of U.S. military veterans and their families and aiding communities affected by natural disasters. Through Team Depot, the company's associate-led volunteer force, thousands of associates dedicate their time and talents to these efforts in the communities where they live and work.
Since 2011, The Home Depot Foundation has invested more than $80 million to provide safe housing to veterans, and along with the help of Team Depot volunteers, has transformed more than 15,000 homes for veterans. To learn more and see Team Depot in action, visit www.homedepot.com/teamdepot.
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SOURCE The Home Depot Foundation