Communities Come Together To Honor Severely Injured Veterans With Specially Adapted Homes

For five years, Budget Blinds®, supported by our manufacturing partner, Springs Window Fashions®, has been in partnership with Homes for Our Troops (HFOT) in their mission to provide specially adapted, mortgage-free homes for post 9/11 severely injured Veterans. Springs donates the custom faux wood blinds that go into every home built, and the Budget Blinds local franchise owners measure and professionally install the blinds for the HFOT homes in their areas. It’s been an exciting partnership, and every home awarded is a celebration! 

No job too big and no hands too small to participate in Volunteer Day when the landscaping goes in about a month before move-in

When a home is almost ready for move-in, a Volunteer Day brings together neighbors, local clubs and organizations, community leaders, Budget Blinds franchisees, Springs representatives, fellow Veterans, and HFOT personnel for an epic landscaping project. Angela Biggs (franchise owner of Budget Blinds of North County San Diego along with her husband, Lloyd, and co-owner Adam Berryman) shares her feelings about being part of this incredible ministry: “What a wonderful opportunity for Budget Blinds to contribute to this noteworthy charity. Overall, the care and attention to detail the HFOT organization puts into our wounded Veterans’ homes is awe-inspiring. We were humbled to be a part of the local community that all gathered to build this new home for Joey and his family.” (Story below for SPC Joey Paulk) 

The gang’s all here for Volunteer Day: Lloyd Biggs, Gena Van Horne (Marketing Project Manager, Home Franchise Concepts, parent company of Budget Blinds), SPC Joseph Paulk, Angela Biggs, and Adam Berryman

Forever homes that change lives

An HFOT home is designed with the purpose of restoring some of the independence and freedom lost by Veterans who have suffered catastrophic injuries like multiple amputations, full or partial paralysis, traumatic brain injury, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), vision and hearing loss, burns, and other injuries. Wider doorways for wheelchair accessibility to every part of the home and garage, lowered countertops in kitchens and bathrooms, hands-free automatic doors, pull-down shelves and roll-in showers are just some of the adaptations that allow Veterans to live with greater independence and safety. For our part, custom faux wood blinds throughout the home provide comfort, convenience and beauty.

Professional installation by Budget Blinds experts ensures years of worry-free operation (pictured here, owner Adam Berryman)

  • Classic white blinds are compatible with any home décor and can be enhanced with layered window treatments like valances, draperies or curtains.
  • Faux wood blinds are ideal for any part of the country since they can stand up to extreme hot or cold as well as dry or humid climates without discoloration, warping, cracking or peeling.
  • Window blinds conserve energy and lower energy bills by blocking outdoor heat or cold from entering the house.
  • Convenient light and privacy control in every room assure comfort and peace of mind.
  • Special motorized blinds in the master bath provide extra safety and convenience at the touch of a button.

It’s a labor of love and a huge “thank you” to our Veterans who have sacrificed so much for the freedoms we enjoy every day.

Meet Army Specialist Joseph Paulk, Jr.

In 2007, in Afghanistan, the Humvee SPC Joseph (Joey) Paulk was driving struck an improvised explosive device (IED) and flipped the vehicle. He was ejected, which saved his life, but he was engulfed in flames, burning over 80 percent of his body. He was placed in a medically induced coma for three and a half weeks while he underwent skin graft surgeries and amputation of his fingers on both hands. He says that when he woke up, he was well on his way to healing and not in excruciating pain. He endured 50 surgeries, including facial reconstruction and plastic surgery and 18 months of rehabilitation at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.

Joey’s injuries cause extreme sensitivity to high and low temperatures since his body temperature does not regulate as normal. He is excited that his specially adapted HFOT home in Fallbrook, CA, will provide strong insulation and advanced climate controls. He’ll be able to live comfortably without extreme reactions to hot and cold temperatures. Automatic doors and accessible cabinets will help restore independence and function throughout the home. Being mortgage-free will allow him to invest in his dream business, owning a tap house with a good friend, serving up San Diego’s finest craft beers.

An avid baseball fan and athlete at heart, Joey continues to participate as a pinch runner and coaching kids, just to stay in the game he loves. Of HFOT, he shares, “They mean to me hope, possibility, and a sense of gratefulness that there are people out there who are taking advantage of the opportunity to give back to us, the Veterans. HFOT and their staff are actually putting their words into action, and that means a lot; helping Veterans have homes that are adapted to their needs, allowing them to live more comfortably and independently. Thank you!” 

Key Ceremony Day involves speeches (Lloyd Biggs, owner, Budget Blinds of North County San Diego), flag raising in the front yard, and the ribbon cutting ceremony for access to the new home

This is the second HFOT home for the Budget Blinds of North County San Diego team, co-owners Lloyd and Angela Biggs and Adam Berryman. They are excited to be involved with HFOT and willing to donate their time and expertise to assist Veterans. “Until you actually meet these wounded Veterans, you have no idea of the many day-to-day challenges they face – things many of us take for granted.  For example, burn victims lose their ability to sweat and are VERY susceptible to overheating. For Joey, a state-of-the-art climate control system was installed in his new home. That system (along with our blinds) will help Joey better manage his internal body temperature. This is one example of the many features that are provided in these specially adapted homes.” –Angela Biggs

Hear Joey share his story by clicking here.

Meet Army Sergeant LisaMarie Wiley

Sergeant LisaMarie Wiley left the civilian workforce and joined the military wanting to do better for herself and others. While on her second deployment to Afghanistan in 2011, she stepped on a daisy-chained IED and lost her left leg below the knee as well as sustaining other injuries. Undeterred from her desire to help others, she joined the Army’s Warrior Transition Battalion while still in recovery and provided support and help to injured Servicemembers transitioning back to military or civilian life. She is currently the VA’s consumer rep for their Federal Advisory Committee for Prosthetics and Special Disabilities.

LisaMarie enjoys tending her garden, spending time outdoors, thrifting, and crafting metal and wood projects. She plans to establish a nonprofit organization as part of the Maker Movement that provides a space for the community to learn, teach, and be creative. Adding to her bachelor’s degree in fine arts from The Art Institute’s Miami International University of Art and Design and participation in the Cochise College Intelligence Studies program, she is currently pursuing a degree in communications at the University of Texas San Antonio.

In her current home, LisaMarie had pulled up carpeting and begun researching for someone to redo the floors to prevent her frequent falls. Her fiancée Matt shares, “It was ripping up the carpet that led us to HFOT, looking for someone to do floors. They called back and said we don’t do floors, but since you submitted the application to get this phone call, we’ve decided you’ve been approved.”

They are excited about the safety and security the specially adapted home will give. She says, “I can’t wait for all of the elements that will make my life not fearful. I will not trip over the carpet to get to the kids’ rooms or fall in the shower. Receiving this home means I will not have to exist in my future unhappy. I am not my amputation; I am my future.” The new home is in Garden Ridge, TX, to be close to the VA and family. LisaMarie says she will never be able to fully express her gratitude, love, and admiration for HFOT’s donor and supporters who contribute to the building of her home. “You are giving more than just a house, you are giving peace of mind to those who need it the most.” 

Chad Campa, Senior Sales Rep from Springs Window Fashions, attended both the Volunteer Day and Key Ceremony for SGT LisaMarie Wiley and Matt

For Jeffrey and Linda Schield, owners of Budget Blinds of North San Antonio, this is their 15th HFOT home. Texas is very welcoming to Veterans, and they step up each time a home is built in their area. They offer kudos to Chad Campa, their Springs Window Fashions Senior Sales Rep, who is right by their side for many Volunteer Days and Key Ceremonies as well as for all the local Budget Blinds franchisees. In this instance, Chad actually baked a cake for the Key Ceremony home presentation and shares, “I am always humbled. It is an honor to represent both Budget Blinds and Springs Window Fashions.” A sweet note for a very exciting day!

Listen to LisaMaria and Matt share their experiences by clicking here.

Enhance your home for Fall and beat the holiday rush

Budget Blinds is ready to assist you with any window covering needs you may have, including replacing old, outdated window treatments, sprucing up for the coming holidays, or just getting more out of your window coverings for energy efficiency, child safety, going green, or the ultimate convenience of smart home technology and Somfy® motorization. Call 866-879-9730 todayto schedule a free, in-home consultation or go online to www.budgetblinds.com to find a Style Consultant near you who can show you the latest trends in window covering design to enhance your home in your unique style.