At Operation Homefront, we work with a broad range of corporations, individuals and foundations who seek to affect positive change for our military men and women, wounded warriors, veterans and their families.
We’ve been extremely fortunate to have some very generous corporate partners who share our values and support of the military. However, it’s a rare combination to have a partner who not only provides their generous resources through in-kind or monetary support, but one who actually places a priority on military and veteran initiatives as core to their culture. That’s exactly the experience we’ve enjoyed in working with The Home Depot Foundation.
Over the course of our three year partnership, The Home Depot Foundation has given $2.6 million to Operation Homefront to rehabilitate and retrofit homes of veterans, wounded service members and their families. To date, Operation Homefront and The Home Depot Foundation have been able to complete 108 projects for veterans and their families, and we’ve been able to undertake tasks like constructing critical home repairs, making ADA facility modifications, purchasing critical appliances and weatherization.
A very personal story I’d like to share is that of the Lucero family. Army Sergeant Esdras Lucero, a wounded veteran, and his wife Jessica bought a house near Fort Drum in New York, planning to make some critical repairs themselves. However, when Sgt. Lucero deployed with his unit, they called in a contractor for some help. Unfortunately, after initiating work on the home, the contractor had neither filled in gaping holes in the walls and roof, nor fixed a defective furnace. Jessica’s calls for help went unanswered for weeks, and then months. She felt she had nowhere else to turn. Thanks to the generosity of The Home Depot Foundation, Operation Homefront was able to hire a new contractor to make critical repairs on the house needed in time for the arrival of the Luceros’ quadruplets on Dec. 26, 2012.
But where The Home Depot Foundation distinguishes itself from many others, I believe, is they didn’t just stop by supplying monetary resources and equipment. On a February weekend this year, Team Depot volunteers descended on the Lucero home and completed critical projects like painting, hanging shelving and completing general projects to ensure that the home would be as comfortable an environment as possible for the Luceros and their quadruplets. It’s that spirit of volunteerism, of service to those who have sacrificed so much, which distinguishes The Home Depot from many others.
We’re proud to have The Home Depot Foundation as a strong supporter in our work to help veteran families in their greatest times of need, and we look forward to continuing our partnership for many years to come.
And remember, this holiday season, you can help veterans too. Show your support for veterans by tweeting using #TeamDepot and The Home Depot Foundation will donate $1 per tweet, up to $100,000 to Operation Homefront until December 31.
–By Jim Knotts, President & CEO, Operation Homefront