A concerted effort on the part of mayors, credit unions and several nonprofit organizations is being made to ensure veterans and their families have a safe place to call home.
Announced in August at the San Diego Defense Credit Union Council’s annual conference, Purple Heart Homes was selected as the Council’s 2017 charity organization. The Defense Credit Union Council raised funds at the conference, with a silent auction, a 50/50 raffle, a raffle for a handmade and donated blanket and mulligan sales from the 24th annual VADM Vince Lacara Golf Tournament. All proceeds were donated to Purple Heart Homes.
Purple Heart Homes is using the funds to benefit the organization’s second annual Operation: Veteran Home Renovation campaign, which helps older, approved veterans and their caregivers with needed home modifications so they can safely age in their own homes.
“We are grateful to be working with the National League of Cities, mayors, credit unions and The Home Depot Foundation to help more older veterans live safely and with dignity in their homes,” said Dale Beatty, Purple Heart Homes’ co-founder and strategic development officer. “Older veterans live in homes built in the 1950s and 1960s that oftentimes are not suited for service-connected disabilities combined with normal aging issues in later life.”
Mayors in seven cities are participating in the campaign. Each city will help identify veterans who need home modifications and to organize volunteers to work on approved projects. Credit unions are supporting the efforts by volunteering and raising much-needed funds of up to $5,000 for approved veterans to receive ramps, grab bars, fresh coats of paint for their homes, or to help with yard cleanup.
The projects will be done in a day or over the course of a weekend. No project will exceed $10,000, and the average cost will be about $5,000. All work will be done at no cost to the veteran or his or her family. The campaign plans to have all projects complete by Nov. 11.
The seven cities include:
Fayetteville, North Carolina (Fort Bragg Federal Credit Union)
Hattiesburg, Mississippi (Keesler Federal Credit Union)
Mobile, Alabama (The Young Professionals Group, representing several Mobile-area credit unions)
Tacoma, Washington (Sound Credit Union)
Winston-Salem, North Carolina (Allegacy Federal Credit Union)
Colorado Springs, Colorado (financial partner to be announced)
Rochester, New York (financial partner to be announced)
“In cities across the country, mayors and local leaders know the critical importance of a safe place to call home,” said Clarence Anthony, CEO and executive director of the National League of Cities. “We are proud to join with national partners and local stakeholders across the country to honor the sacrifice of our veterans by enabling them to remain in their communities.”
The Home Depot Foundation works to improve the homes and lives of U.S. military veterans and their families. Since 2011, it has transformed more than 33,000 homes and facilities for veterans across the country and is growing its commitment to veteran-related causes to $250 million by 2020.
Other credit unions participating in Operation: Veteran Home Renovation include: Dover Federal Credit Union in Dover, Delaware; Travis Credit Union in Vacaville, California; Peach State Federal Credit Union in Lawrenceville, Georgia; Scott Credit Union in Edwardsville, Illinois; Tinker Federal Credit Union in Oklahoma City; Robins Financial Credit Union in Warner Robins, Georgia; and United Federal Credit Union in Statesville, North Carolina.
To learn more about Operation: Veteran Home Renovation and how to get involved, contact Vicki Thomas, Purple Heart Homes 203-984-2138 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.