Note: This is a sponsored post for The Home Depot Foundation. Every thought, opinion, and experience is 100% my own.
On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to attend one of 10 Celebration of Service kick off events for The Home Depot Foundation. I spent the day in H-town while Maxwell hung out with grandma. Me and 500 Team Depot volunteers from the Houston area transformed a home for 328 veterans in one day. I know, it sounds like madness! But y’all, it was so organized and fun and truly a joyful experience to bring smiles and solve real problems for the veterans that live in the Midtown Terrace Suites.
A tiny bit of background, in 2 months from 9/11 until Vetran’s Day (11/11), Team Depot volunteers will transform 1,000 homes for veterans in cities all over the United States. 1000 homes! Crazy awesome, right?! A couple of other amazing things about this event, when I say Team Depot volunteers… I mean 500 people who work at The Home Depot in the Houston area volunteered on their day off (un paid) to give back to their community. They are not required to participate. And the Team Depot volunteers are a happy, spirited group! Talk about a fun place to work! They clearly do it because they want to serve their community. That alone makes me smile! Secondly, like I said above, 328 vetrans live in the Midtown Terrace Suites, and it was really fun to see their excitement about the work that was happening to their home and of course, my favorite part, hear their stories. It was so fun to see Team Depot volunteers and the vetrans getting their hands dirty together! It was a major team effort, y’all!
And let me just set the tone of the day with this little nugget of info… we had a veteran who lived on site DJ-ing for us!
I had the pleasure of chatting with many of the 328 veterans that live here, including Charles Lockman. He served in the United States Army for 6 years and ended up homeless after a battle with substance abuse that ultimately landed him in jail. Charles has been sober for over one year and is currently in school to become a licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor so that he can help others that are struggling with substance abuse. He explains how “the greatest asset a person has is their time” and he is very appreciate that Team Depot is beautifying his living pace so that he can enjoy listening to music outdoors and proudly entertain his family members at his home. And here is the sea of orange at 8am before we got our work on!
Like I said above, this was no small task, we are talking about a home for 328 people! The Home Depot Foundation site planned for 6 months to determine how to best help the vetrans at the Midtown Terrace Suites. I love that they put so much thought and effort into solving real problems that exists on the property. Here are 5 of the big issues at the Midtown Terrace and how 500 Team Depot volunteers solved put their talents to use to make 328 vetrans homes more well… homey!
1. Rain in the walkways: As you can see from the picture below, the blue tarps were nailed up as a temporary solution to keep the water out of the hallways. Every time it rained, they literally had to sweep the water out and re nail up the blue tarps. Solution: Build a slanted roof that drains into the flower beds and waters the plants! Genius!
2. Community space: This building is an old Days Inn hotel, and this space was once a pool that got filled in with grass 11 years ago. Team Depot wanted to give the vetrans a shady space to hangout, mingle, garden, grill, or just relax and listen to music. In one day, we added a pavilion, walkways, grills, a horseshoe pit, bocce ball area, benches, and cleaned up the landscaping with mulch and flowers!
3. Concrete community area: We also gave a major makeover to the upstairs cement community space. One major problem here was that the cement reflects sunlight and it makes it so hot that no one ever used the area! To help the Texas sun, we painted it green. We also added a pavilion, fire pits, grills, and covered the AC units to make the space prettier!
4. Ramp between buildings: This property has 2 separate buildings and there is only one way to get from one building to the other. So, those 2 2×4’s were the old “ramp” and wheel chairs could not get from one building to the other. Now, cars and wheelchairs can freely get from one building to the other allowing residents to freely access to all of the community space!
5. Beatification of property: Painted all 328 doors, added new numbers, mulched and weeded all flower beds, cleaned the entrance sign, and pressure washed the walkways.
This is a huge complex, and I loved looking up and seeing the place speckled with orange all. day. long!
And just in case you forgot what city we were in, here’s a hint… Gotta love the Texas pride even on the SUV’s!
Another fun fact from the day, Team Depot volunteers utilized 1,300 bags of mulch! Mulch were hauled all over the complex to be spread throughout 25+ flower beds at the Midtown Terrace Suites!
I was taking bazillions of pictures and chatting with veterans and volunteers for most of the day, but you better believe I found time to get my hands dirty and paint doors and glue on new numbers!
And since my big ol’ arm is covering up my fancy apron, I must show you the coolest apron on site!
After 10+ hour of sweating in the Houston heat, we had a bunch of happy, thirsty, paint adorned Team Depot volunteers still smiling and even two stepping to the country music blaring on the speakers thanks to our resident veteran DJ!
I feel proud that I was able to be part of this seriously awesome event, give 328 veterans a better place to call home, and to be able to thank vetrans in person for serving our country! If you’re interested in learning more about the Celebration of Service kick off events you can follow @TeamDepot on twitter (I bet there is one happening in a city near you!) and/ or read more from the bloggers at each of the events: (I’ll update as I find the posts!): Stacy in Atlanta, Amy in Cleveland, Kari in Los Angeles, and to check out all of the amazing project here’s the Team Depot hub!
The Home Depot Foundation partnered with bloggers such as me for their Celebration of Service program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to say in these posts. The Home Depot Foundation believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot Foundation’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. – See more at: http://www.notjustahousewife.net/2014/09/celebration-of-service.html#sthash.YECTmP85.dpuf