Bringing Veterans Home for the Holidays

Only a few weeks to go before Homes for Our Troops’ (HFOT) third annual “Homes for the Holidays” celebrations end. This year’s goal was to get 10 severely wounded veterans and their families into new homes just in time for Christmas! By the end of December, Budget Blinds® will have contributed to 11 exciting home comings!

For over 10 years, Homes For Our Troops has been building specially adapted homes for severely wounded veterans who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a non-profit organization, HFOT depends on corporate partners like Budget Blinds to provide product, labor and contributions so mortgage-free homes can be given to veterans, enabling them to focus on recovery and rebuilding their lives.

It’s a Family Affair

HFOT has perfected the process of getting the homes built and gifted to deserving veterans. However, this hinges on the support and commitment of thousands of people who are willing to participate in their mission. At Budget Blinds, from our founders to our individually owned and operated franchises, support for our veterans is foundational to our corporate culture. Our involvement with HFOT rests firmly o:

  •  Generous franchise owners who provide expert measuring and professional installation services for the homes
  • Budget Blinds owners and employees participation in local Volunteer Days across the country
  • Taking part in Key Ceremonies where the homes are presented to the veterans
  • Collaboration with our manufacturing partner, Springs Window Fashions, supporting our commitment to donate faux wood blinds from our Signature Series® product line into 120 homes over the next three years

Our founders, employees, franchisees and selected vendor partner wholly support HFOT, making it truly a Budget Blinds family affair.

Chad Hallock, CEO and co-founder of Budget Blinds says, “We are excited about helping to get these families settled into their new homes for Christmas, and proud to support our veterans in this way. We share a strong commitment to supporting veterans who have served our country. Many of our founders have personal connections to the U.S. Armed Forces as do a number of our franchisees across the country. It is our hope that the synergies between Budget blinds and Homes for Our Troops will continue to honor returning soldiers for years to come.”

Marine Sergeant Robert Bruce

In 2011 in Afghanistan, while going to the aid of a fellow Marine who had been injured by an IED, Sergeant Bruce triggered another IED and was injured as well. Both men were evacuated to safety, but Sgt Bruce lost both his legs below the knees and, after multiple surgeries, continues in recovery. He and wife, Megan, received their new home on November 15, 2014, and they are looking forward to a home where he can live more independently. Sgt Bruce shares: “The floor plan itself is very spacious, plenty of room for wheel chair operation. All the appliances in the kitchen are arranged to coincide with wheel chair access. One of the biggest things that has surprised me is just how much support is out there. We volunteered to go do what we were going to do; we don’t really expect a whole lot. We don’t like to be the center of attention…or ask for handouts, but for the support to come out and, ‘Hey, we’re going to do this for you,’ it’s very relieving, very satisfying.”

Sgt Bruce likes hosting BBQs (his new backyard will be perfect!), camping, movies and video games. An NRA member and instructor, he’d like to be employed as a firearms and small unit tactics instructor for a government agency. Going back to school is also in his future plans. Click here to listen to Sgt Bruce and Megan share their story.

Steve Glaza, franchise owner of Budget Blinds serving Mesa, AZ, participated in both the Volunteer Day in October and the Key Ceremony on the 15th. He shares:  “I had a son that served in the Marines so my family is familiar with the sacrifice that is required to protect our country. To be able to assist HFOT with this effort was an honor.

Marine Corporal Justin Crabbe

Key Ceremony Proceedings: Cpl Crabbe meets Budget Blinds franchise owners Brian and Bonnie English; Cpl Crabbe cutting the yellow ribbon to enter his new home, speeches of welcome and thanks; Budget Blinds is on hand to welcome Cpl Crabbe home

Corporal Justin Crabbe was on patrol when he stepped on an IED in Afghanistan, in August 2011. As life-saving measures were being administered, he made a friend promise to call his mom and give a message that he was sorry and that he loved her and the whole family. The blast temporarily deadened his hearing and except for the promise he had extracted from his friend, he has no memory of the three weeks following the accident until he woke up in Bethesda Naval Medical Center in Maryland. For weeks in ICU, he hung between life and death. Cpl Crabbe lost both his legs above the knees and suffered damage to his left hand.

Cpl Crabbe received his home in a November 16th key Ceremony and was gracious in his thanks to HFOT and its sponsors like Budget Blinds: “Having an organization that actually puts itself aside and looks out for the veteran—that’s top dollar in my book. This organization is amazing. Somebody that’s going to build a house for somebody and just give them the key…it’s mind blowing!” He shares that this specially adapted home will enable him to “live a normal, productive life without feeling like I am handicapped or disabled.” Presently a family of one, he sees himself getting married and sharing his life with someone. Hear him tell his story by clicking here.

Brian and Bonnie English, franchise owners of Budget Blinds serving Yucaipa, CA, did the measuring and installation of the faux wood blinds in Cpl Crabbe’s home and attended the Key Ceremony festivities: “We’re so grateful for the service and sacrifice of our military men and women and are honored to give a small portion of our time to make their lives easier.”

To date, HFOT has placed 173 families into homes in 39 states, with 55 current projects underway. Visit their website to learn more about how you can get involved in honoring returning veterans in your area.

If you would like to update your own home with stylish window coverings including blinds, shutters,shades, drapery and more, Budget Blinds can help you design exactly what you need to enhance your lifestyle and specialty needs. Call 866-590-6341today to schedule a free, in-home consultation or go online at www.budgetblinds.com to find a Style Consultant near you.