Budget Blinds® is proud to have partnered with Homes for Our Troops (HFOT) since 2014 by installing faux wood blinds from our exclusive Signature Series® product line in the specially adapted homes they build for post 9/11, severely injured veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who suffered multiple limb amputations, partial or full paralysis, and/or severe traumatic brain injury.
These high-quality faux wood blinds, donated by long-time manufacturing partner, Springs Window Fashions®, have outfitted dozens of homes with beauty, function and energy efficiency. Now, in 2016, Somfy® motorization for the master bath window blinds has been added, eliminating the need to reach across or over the tub/shower enclosures, adding additional safety and convenience.
Supporting the HFOT mission
Budget Blinds partnered with HFOT because the HFOT mission–to build mortgage-free, specially adapted homes nationwide for severely injured Veterans to enable them to rebuild their lives—echoes the Budget Blinds’ family commitment to veterans, as expressed by Todd Jackson, Co-founder Budget Blinds.
“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.”
- Independent franchise owners do the measuring and installation for each home, donating their time and expertise
- Manufacturing partners participate with cash and product donations
- Budget Blinds franchises and employees can participate in local Volunteer Days and Key Ceremony Days, welcoming the veterans to their new homes
- Everyone can directly donate to HFOT knowing their gift will be greatly used (approximately 90 cents of each dollar goes directly to support veterans)
- There is no better way to say thank you to those who have sacrificed so much
Meet Army Sergeant Charles Douglas Harris
On a foot patrol, clearing a route for another unit, Sgt Harris stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan in 2012. The blast impacted the whole team, and Sgt Harris tried to help a fallen teammate, only to discover that he had lost both his legs in the blast and suffered severe injuries to his right arm. The last thing he remembers as he was loaded into the helicopter was the medic helping him lift his arm so he could fist pump his buddies. He subsequently spent about seven months at Walter Reed Medical Center undergoing surgeries and rehabilitative therapy. He met his wife, Autumn, at Walter Reed and love blossomed.
Living in a traditional home for the last few years has been difficult, with extremely limited wheelchair access around the home. Without his prosthetics, Sgt Harris scoots from room to room on the floor. He’s looking forward to the convenience and safety the specially adapted HFOT home will give with complete wheelchair accessibility throughout. “[This home] would greatly improve my wellbeing and my family life. It would allow me to do things like get something from the kitchen and do laundry without asking for help and feeling like a burden.”
Sgt Harris continues his love of the outdoors, and teaches hunter education in Maryland and works as a 911 emergency dispatcher for Hampshire County, WV. He’s active with the local VFW and American Legion, as well as other organizations that help injured veterans return to outdoor activities. He plans to pursue a degree in Wildlife Biology, eventually working for an agency that manages the population of wildlife. He’s grateful to HFOT and its supporters for the opportunity to rebuild his life. “There’s not any other program out there like Homes for Our Troops that gives you your life back. They care tremendously about helping veterans.”
Robin Terrell, a franchise owner of Budget Blinds serving Cumberland, did expert measuring and installation for the faux wood blinds throughout the home, increasing overall energy efficiency and functionality. When asked to participate, responded: “I would love to be a part of this veteran’s [home] build by providing the blinds.”
Click here for a video of Sgt Harris and Autumn.
Meet Marine Corporal Zachary Nelson
In Afghanistan in 2012, Cpl Nelson was stationed as gunner on top of a vehicle that hit a bolder in the road and rolled into a ditch. He was crushed in the accident, sustaining injuries that left him paralyzed from the chest down. His best friend was with him as he was loaded on the MEDEVAC chopper, encouraging him to stay calm. He underwent a 13-hour surgery to stabilize his spine, followed by months of aggressive physical and occupational therapies at Walter Reed and James Haley VA in Tampa. It was nine long, scary days from injury until his then fiancée and now wife, Kiley, joined him at Walter Reed.
The specially adapted home will eliminate many of the obstacles he faces on a daily basis, including the worry of his safety. Neither he nor Kiley will have to worry when he is home alone. The pull-down cabinets and roll-under sinks even make the kitchen safe for everyday activities and the wide hallways and doorways make the whole house wheelchair accessible. He shares, “These homes that HFOT builds give us back our freedom, our mobility. The beautiful homes are adapted so we can live full, normal lives. It’s amazing. A simple thank you doesn’t do enough.” The mortgage-free home will allow Cpl Zachary to concentrate on his ongoing recovery and starting college. A car and truck enthusiast, he also enjoys football and basketball.
“Thank you to Homes for Our Troops and your supporters for the generosity and compassion you show toward wounded Veterans. Having a place to call home, to establish roots, and to raise a family in the future is one of the greatest blessings I can imagine.” –Cpl Zachary Nelson
Jeff and Polli Whittern, franchise owners of Budget Blinds serving Muncie, gladly did the honors for the Nelson home, professionally measuring and installing the blinds, including the remote control blinds in the master bathroom.
Click here to see Cpl Nelson and Kiley share their story.
If you would like to update your own home with easy-care faux wood blinds and other decorative window coverings, Budget Blinds offers an extensive line of window treatments including shutters, shades and drapes that offer benefits beyond beauty, including energy efficiency, motorization, eco-friendly and child-friendly options. Call 866-879-9730 to schedule a free, in-home consultation or go online at www.budgetblinds.com to find a Style Consultant near you.
To learn about the many ways to support Homes for Our Troops or to make a donation, go to https://www.hfotusa.org/.