ATLANTA, Nov. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Since September 11, The Home Depot®, The Home Depot Foundation and Team Depot, the Company's associate-led volunteer force, have been on a nationwide campaign to celebrate the service and sacrifice of U.S. military veterans and their families. The "Celebration of Service" initiative officially concludes on Veterans Day, November 11 with volunteers completing 320 projects to repair and renovate veterans' homes and facilities in partnership with The Mission Continues. In addition, The Home Depot Foundation donated more than $10 million in cash and products to nonprofits addressing the housing challenges of veterans.
The Company's customers have also participated by purchasing almost 35,000 Celebration of Service gift cards, with 5 percent of the proceeds, or $240,000, going directly to The Home Depot Foundation to support more veterans' initiatives. Celebration of Service gift cards will be available for purchase online or in stores through November 11.
During the week leading up to Veterans Day, Team Depot will continue working on many projects around the country, including repairing and beautifying Veterans Memorial Maywood Park near Chicago; planting sod for a 21,000 square-foot grassed therapeutic riding area for Ivey Ranch Park's Horses for Heroes, a therapeutic riding program for wounded military service personnel and veterans in San Diego; and installing new, energy efficient windows and patio doors for an 87-year-old disabled veteran in Connecticut.
"Our nation's veterans and their families have made great sacrifices for our country, and it is an honor for us to serve them," said Frank Blake, chairman and CEO, The Home Depot. "I want to thank all of our associates who volunteered their time and talents to make an impact on the housing needs of veterans."
In addition to hands on volunteer projects, The Home Depot Foundation also has made more than $9 million in cash awards during Celebration of Service to 28 nonprofits that address the housing needs of veterans. From Operation Homefront and Volunteers of America to U.S.VETS and Habitat for Humanity International, the Foundation is investing in nonprofits that directly change the lives and circumstances of veterans and their families. Through Team Depot, the Company's associates will continue to help these grantees as well as many others as they work to serve as many veterans as they can.
"While our 2011 Celebration of Service campaign has concluded, The Home Depot Foundation and Team Depot will continue on our mission to ensure that every veteran has a safe place to call home," said Kelly Caffarelli, president, The Home Depot Foundation. "According to a new report released in October by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, statistics show that many veterans face severe housing needs, including homelessness, due to injuries suffered in combat, economic pressures and difficulties transitioning from military to civilian life. We have seen these issues in an up close and personal way over the past two months, and we are more committed than ever to serve those who have served us all."
In addition to helping veterans, The Home Depot Foundation has also partnered with The Mission Continues to engage veterans in volunteer projects to utilize and highlight their unique leadership and planning skills.
"Veterans are often told 'thank you' when they return home from service, but they also need to hear 'we still need you,'" said Eric Greitens, Navy SEAL and CEO of The Mission Continues. "Our partnership with The Home Depot Foundation helps us to inspire this generation of veterans to continue their lifelong mission of service in their own communities."
Celebration of Service Highlights:
- 320 service projects completed by 8,870 volunteers: In partnership with The Mission Continues, thousands of The Home Depot associates, veterans and active duty service members have volunteered to repair and renovate homes, facilities and community centers where veterans and their families live and receive services. (See project examples below.)
- $9 million in grants: Each week since September 11, The Home Depot Foundation has announced grants totaling $9 million to nonprofits who serve veterans.
- Five Percent of Celebration of Service Gift Card Sales: When customers purchase this specially-themed Home Depot gift card during Celebration of Service, five percent of the value placed on the card will go to The Home Depot Foundation to support nonprofits dedicated to veterans' housing needs. As of today, customers have purchased almost 35,000 gift cards. These gift cards will be available through November 11 and may be purchased in stores or online at www.homedepot.com.
- 3 Doors Down: Multi-platinum rock band 3 Doors Down's new CD "Time of My Life" is available for purchase on www.homedepot.com, and $1 of the sale of each CD will go directly to support The Home Depot Foundation's veterans' housing initiatives. The music of 3 Doors Down has inspired and comforted veterans, active duty troops and their families for many years.
To learn more about The Home Depot Foundation's commitment to veterans and "Celebration of Service" campaign, please visit www.homedepotfoundation.org.
ABOUT THE HOME DEPOT FOUNDATION
The Home Depot Foundation is committed to ensuring that every U.S. military veteran has a safe place to call home. In April 2011, the Foundation pledged a three-year, $30 million initiative to address veterans' critical housing needs.
Since its formation in 2002, The Home Depot Foundation has granted more than $270 million to nonprofit organizations improving homes and lives in local communities. To learn more and see our associates in action, visit www.homedepotfoundation.org, follow us on Twitter @homedepotfdn, and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/homedepotfoundation.
Celebration of Service
Project Examples and Quotes from Partner Nonprofits
From September 11 through Veterans Day (November 11), almost 10,000 volunteers from The Home Depot and The Mission Continues partnered to complete 320 projects across the country to benefit veterans and the facilities and organizations that serve them. Following is a description of just a few of the projects. For more details, go to www.homedepotfoundation.org/celebrationofservice.
- Atlanta: Renovated the interior and landscaped the exterior of The Salvation Army's Metro Atlanta Area Command facility, where hundreds of homeless veterans receive services each year.
- Atlanta: Renovated and repaired the VFW "Rainbow" Post 2681 facility. Volunteers renovated the inside of the building by replacing ceiling tiles, upgrading bathrooms and enhancing lighting. They also landscaped the facility and painted a mural of a waving American flag on the parking lot wall.
- Baltimore: Repaired and improved The Baltimore Station, a nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive residential recovery services to approximately 250 homeless veterans every year. Volunteers repaired ceiling tiles, remodeled storage rooms, completed numerous weatherization projects and created a rooftop herb garden.
- Detroit: Transformed a vacant lot in downtown Detroit into a Veterans Memorial Park, a vibrant new green space with beautiful landscaping, benches and a large pergola. Volunteers also installed a flag stand with the Michigan Honor Guard raising the park's first flag.
- Phoenix: Repaired and renovated U.S.VETS' residential facility, which provides more than 115 veterans each day with comprehensive services including housing, job training and placement and other supportive services. Volunteers transformed an outdoor 90ft x 270ft area into a welcoming gathering space for veterans and their families, including installing an irrigation system; planting trees, shrubs and laying 6,000 square feet of sod; planting a raised herb and vegetable garden; and constructing two 6'x18' pergolas.
- Los Angeles: Renovated the residential facility of New Directions, a nonprofit that provides housing and supportive services to veterans. Volunteers transformed the exterior by creating an inviting outdoor living area with brand new picnic tables, planters and benches. Volunteers also painted the interior of the building and installed new low-energy light fixtures.
- Orlando: Repaired and renovated the facilities of the Disabled American Veterans' Orlando Chapter 16, which has 2,500 members and serves more than 15,000 veterans each year in Central Florida. Volunteers painted the interior; installed new windows; replaced 3,000 square feet of ceiling tiles; and installed a new refrigerator and stove.
- San Diego: Renovated Ivey Ranch Park, a nonprofit that operates Horses for Heroes, a therapeutic riding program for wounded military service personnel and veterans. Volunteers created and laid sod for a 21,000 square foot grassed therapeutic riding area among other intensive landscaping projects.
"What an amazing day! Team Depot swooped in and made a lasting difference - we see it every single day from the spectacular new picnic area and the gorgeous planters to the interior painting and the new low-energy light fixtures," said Cindy Young, director of Development & Marketing, New Directions. "What The Home Depot and The Mission Continues did was good not only for our physical surroundings; you uplifted our spirits and made a lasting impact. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the great work The Home Depot Foundation is doing all across the country to ensure that veterans not only have better access to housing, but to better quality housing."
"The Home Depot Foundation has been an essential partner as Volunteers of America expands our services to homeless veterans in cities throughout the United States," said Shelley Goode, vice president-Development, Volunteers of America. "The hands-on involvement by The Home Depot stores and their Team Depot associates all over the country has made a big difference in the lives of the men and women we serve. Because of this partnership, we will be able to move even more veterans in need off the streets and into supportive homes where they can begin rebuilding their lives."
"Working with The Home Depot Foundation has been immensely rewarding for U.S.VETS. The time and attention Team Depot has given to assisting veterans in the communities we serve are remarkable," said Steve Peck, U.S.VETS President & CEO. "I hope that other national organizations and companies will follow The Home Depot's example in supporting and serving the men and women who have served our country."
SOURCE The Home Depot