This post originally appeared on October 24, 2013 in The Daily Courier. Click here to read the story on their website.
Serving those who served: Volunteers transform dirt lot into welcoming backyard for 2 vet families
by Tamara Sone
Two military families got a whole new backyard on Tuesday, courtesy of the Home Depot Foundation.
“It is part of our core values to give back to the community,” Prescott store manager Nita Lester said. “We focus on veteran families so that we can give them a bright spot in their lives.”
More than 20 volunteers, clad in bright-orange shirts, gathered at the duplex on North Virginia Street in Prescott at 7:30 a.m. to begin the backbreaking work of transforming the dirt lot into a welcoming space for the two families.
Volunteers carted in buckets of green plants and shrubs, pallets of pavers, and loads of dirt and gravel for the project.
“I’m very happy; it really needed it,” veteran Eugene Stillings said. “They’re doing a great job back there.”
The duplex is part of the U.S.VETS family permanent housing program, operations manager Skye Biasetti said. The program helps homeless veterans and their families find affordable, permanent housing.
In addition to new landscaping, the company provided the families with a new swing set, playhouse, patio furniture and a barbecue.
“U.S.VETS told us that they worked out a deal with Home Depot to give our kids a safe place to play and just some peace of mind, really,” Army veteran Shane Golay said. “I’ve worked with Home Depot before, so it’s great to have them out here doing this.”
Goly served eight and a half years in the Army with tours in Korea, Cuba and Iraq.
The backyard project was just a small part of the company’s nationwide Celebration of Service program. From September through October, the program is scheduled to invest $3 million to complete 350 service projects across the nation.
“Many veterans and their families find themselves without a safe place to call home after bravely serving our country,” Kelly Caffarelli, president of The Home Depot Foundation, said. “Our mission is not only to repair and refurbish the homes and facilities where veterans live and receive services, but also to say ‘thank you’ for their sacrifices.”
Each project is based on the needs of the veteran and can range from interior house painting and minor plumbing repairs to installing new carpets and constructing a fence around the property.
Thank you to The Home Depot Foundation for all of your support at U.S.VETS sites across the country!