Guest Blog: Ed Breitweiser, Navy Veteran and Repair Corps Grant Recipient
I am one of the veterans whose house and life have been greatly improved by Habitat for Humanity and The Home Depot Foundation. I can hardly find the words to express how grateful I am that a Habitat Repair Corps team, including Team Depot volunteers, came to the home my wife and I have lived in for 23 years in Lake in the Hills, Illinois, and fixed problems that helped us feel better and save money at the same time.
I’m almost 70, with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). My wife and I depend on my Social Security check as income; and after paying bills I have not had the money to keep up with the routine maintenance as I wanted to do.
When the nine-member team of volunteers came to the house, I thought they were responding to my request to repair a leak in the bathroom wall. They tore out that wall, fixed the leak, replaced the worn-out tiles and built a surround – making the bathroom look beautiful. But much to my delight, they took a look around the house and decided to do so much more.
For starters, they insulated the attic and the ceiling over the garage so that the room above it could hold heat. That room used to be so cold; it’s warm as toast now. With those steps, my monthly energy bills went down by $50 or $60 dollars in the winter. That’s a very significant savings for me.
Next, they noticed that my roof was deteriorating and my gutters were so bad, water just laid in them. I live in a raised ranch house, and I am on oxygen 24-7, so I’m in no condition to get up on the ladder. The team replaced the roof and gutters. Without the work Habitat and The Home Depot took on, my roof and gutters would have caused me serious problems.
Finally, the team cleaned and repaired the concrete steps outside, greatly improving the look and safety of the entrance to our home.
So many veterans are better off because of the grants The Home Depot Foundation gives to Habitat for Humanity to help veterans. My wife Jeanie and I are just overwhelmed with happiness and gratitude.
- Navy veteran Ed Breitweiser
In 2012, Habitat for Humanity International and The Home Depot Foundation® announced the national expansion of the Repair Corps Program, a joint initiative to remodel and renovate homes across the country for U.S. military veterans and their families. With $2.7 million in funding from The Home Depot Foundation and volunteer assistance from Team Depot, The Home Depot’s associate-led volunteer force, Habitat’s expanded Repair Corps Program is repairing the homes of more than 180 veterans and their families.