Budget Blinds partnered with Homes for Our Troops (HFOT) in November of this year and went right to work helping to fulfill the goal of placing 10 severely injured veterans and their families into new, specially-adapted homes in time for the holidays.
It was an exciting venture as Budget Blinds franchise owners across the country donated their time and expertise in measuring and installing faux wood blinds for 10 homes over a two-month period. Todd Jackson, co-founder of Budget Blinds, shares, “Homes for Our Troops perfectly aligns with Budget Blinds’ commitment to honor U.S. military veterans. We are proud to make this contribution to returning soldiers and their families, and to also have our Budget Blinds family be part of the actual building process.”
A Worthy Ambition
For over 10 years, HFOT has built specially-adapted homes for the most severely injured veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11. As a non-profit, national organization, HFOT relies on corporate and individual donors and supporters to fund this incredible initiative. Budget Blinds, in collaboration with our long-standing manufacturing partner, Springs Window Fashions, is committed to providing faux wood blinds from our Signature Series® product line into 120 homes over the next three years, a total donation of one million dollars in products and services.
HFOT commits to “building homes and rebuilding lives.” These specially-adapted homes help restore some of the freedom and independence our veterans sacrificed while defending ours, and enables them to focus on their family, recovery, and rebuilding their lives.
To date, HFOT has completed 178 homes, and there are currently 50 more homes in process.
The Final “Homes for the Holidays” recipients for 2014
Marine Corporal Michael Fox, December 18
Marine Corporal Michael Fox was on his third deployment in Afghanistan in 2011, scouting for a new location for a patrol base. As the Fire Team Leader, he was looking for an ideal vantage point when the blast of an IED vaulted him into the air, incurring injuries that resulted in the loss of both his legs. His squad administered life-saving first aid and Cpl Fox was airlifted to safety. From Germany to Walter Reed National Medical Center in Bethsada, MD, to Balboa Naval Medical Center in San Diego, he underwent multiple surgeries, treatments and therapies. His current apartment has places he can’t use because of his wheelchair and help from his girlfriend, Erica, is not always wanted. “She wants to help and I don’t want her to help out, I’m trying to do as much as I can. Having a home specifically adapted to my needs is huge. It takes mental stress away. I’m so incredibly happy to be a part of this program.”
Cpl Fox plans to return to college to finish his degree. His pursuits include racing at the local drag strip and deep sea fishing.
Listen to his story by clicking here.
Army Staff Sergeant Jason Gibson, December 20
While on his third deployment, Army Staff Sergeant Jason Gibson lost both his legs up to the hip and sustained damage to his arms and left hand in an IED blast in Afghanistan in 2012. He has no memory of the near-fatal explosion that led to almost 20 surgeries including a skin graft on his arm and aggressive physical and occupational therapy. SSG Gibson stays active with hand cycling, surfing, golf, skiing, fishing and church involvement while he considers a career direction and return to school. His wife, Kara, is a physical therapist and blogs about her experiences as the wife of a wounded veteran/amputee.
Bob Shustack, franchise owner of Budget Blinds serving Marysville, installed the blinds in the SSG Gibson’s new home and shares: “I don’t think enough is done for our troops returning home, especially for those who are injured. I spent the day at the house and was impressed by Sgt Gibson’s good spirits despite his injuries. I am so thankful for those who served.”
The new specially-adapted home will help SSG Gibson become completely independent. According to Kara, “There’s nowhere in the house that he won’t be able to access.”
Hear their story by clicking here.
Marine Sergeant Bradley Walker, December 20
Marine Sergeant Bradley Walker was on his second deployment when he lost both of his legs in an IED blast in Iraq in 2006 while driving a security vehicle returning from a completed mission. He received life-saving aid from his squad and was airlifted to Germany, the first stop on the journey to Walter Reed Army Medical Center where he remained for two years and seven months of surgeries and rehabilitation. A member of the Adjutant of Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter #356, The American Legion post #201 in White Pine and the Big Brothers of America, Sgt Walker has a heart of giving back to his community and hopes to train for a career in some service capacity.
Sgt Walker shares: “I have several friends who have received assistance from Homes for Our Troops and I have seen the tremendous impact it has made in their lives. It will be nice to have the freedom back to access all sections of my house from my wheelchair. I am in awe of the mission that Homes for Our Troops has undertaken. For all the things they do for injured service members; there’s not enough thanks that can be said.”
Hear Sgt Walker’s own story by clicking here.
Brad and Sue Gerrish, franchise owners of Budget Blinds serving Knoxville, TN, generously provided the measuring and installation of blinds in Sgt Walker’s home.
Start the New Year Right
Here are the 10 “Homes for the Holidays” 2014 recipients–brave men, one and all! If you would like to be part of next year’s Homes for the Holidays celebration or to learn more about how you can get involved NOW with Homes for Our Troops, visit www.hfotusa.org. To volunteer with Homes for Our Troops and find a current project in your area, click here.
Budget Blinds is honored to support HFOT and the corporate commitment is shared by Chad Hallock, CEO and co-founder of Budget Blinds: “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.”
Budget Blinds chose our Signature Series® faux wood blinds for the HFOT homes because they are very versatile and appropriate for any area of the country. They give an elegant look that is universally stylish and functional. They provide energy efficiency and light and privacy control, are easy to use and clean, are moisture resistant and can be enhanced with additional window treatments like valances or drapery for a personalized look. Blinds can also be motorized or cordless for child and pet safety.
If you would like some design help with new window treatments in your home, including blinds, shades, shutters and drapes, call 866-879-9730 today to schedule a free, in-home consultation or go online at www.budgetblinds.com to find a Style Consultant near you.