Budget Blinds is proud to be the exclusive window coverings corporate partner to Homes for Our Troops (HFOT). HFOT is a national non-profit organization that builds specially adapted homes for severely injured veterans of post 9/11 deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq. HFOT was recently named one of the top 10 charities that support veterans, according to Charity Navigator (a charity “watch dog”), based on financial health, accountability, and transparency of reporting. Since 2008, HFOT has received a four-star (A) rating, the highest the Charity Navigator awards.
HFOT homes are:
- Mortgage-free to the veteran
- Highest quality construction
- Energy Star certified to ensure maximum efficiency
- Built where the veteran wants to live, usually close to family
- Specially adapted far beyond the demands of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) to ensure maximum comfort and mobility for each veteran
- Built with over 90 cents of every donated dollar going to support the veterans
Shared Core Values
Last year, Budget Blinds and long-time manufacturing partner, Springs Window Fashions®, committed to providing window coverings in all the homes built over the next three years by HFOT. The values and mission of HFOT align perfectly with Budget Blinds and its parent company, Home Franchise Concepts (HFC). Budget Blinds and HFC believe in supporting veterans in a big way:
- In 2013, launched the Million Dollar Franchise Event, an initiative to bring veterans into the franchising world with substantial discounts for buying a franchise.
- In 2014, forged the partnership with HFOT as another way for the Budget Blinds family to serve veterans.
- In 2015, our new Troops in Transition program will waive the initial franchisee fee of $74,950 for qualified veteran candidates.
Budget Blinds’ commitment to high quality is evident in the products selected for the HFOT homes. Our Signature Series® custom faux wood blinds are installed throughout each home, so every room is light and privacy controlled, with the added benefits of energy-efficiency and moisture-resistant properties that ensure trouble-free operation for years to come.
Building Homes and Rebuilding Lives
HFOT homes go to veterans who are the most severely injured in combat, sustaining injuries such as multiple limb amputations, partial or full paralysis and/or severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Having a specially adapted home that gives back lost independence and is a secure place to raise a family frees up a veteran to focus on recovery and rebuilding their lives, including college and career pursuits.
Meet Army SSG Alex Jauregui
SSG Jauregui had over 42 months of combat without incident, when he triggered an improvised explosive device (IED) while on patrol with an Explosive Ordinance Disposal team in Afghanistan in April, 2012. He recalls his vision becoming blurry and his ears ringing as he felt himself being dragged out of harm’s way. SSG Jauregui lost both legs, hearing in both ears and suffered extensive damage to his right hand and forearm. He remembers the constant encouragement of his crew members as they waited for MEDEVAC to transport him to Landstuhl, Germany, the first stop on a long road to recovery. Upon finally receiving his prosthetics, he said, “You don’t want to get off them again. I wanted to get back to the point where I could be independent. I hate sitting down, I was not going to be wheelchair bound.” SSG Jauregui enjoys fishing, hunting and the outdoors. Looking ahead, he’d like to work for the DEA, Border Patrol or TSA, extending his career with the federal government.
Paul Novaresi, franchise owner of Budget Blinds serving Sacramento, expertly measured and installed the blinds in SSG Jauregui’s new home and participated in Volunteer Day (above) and Key Ceremony Day when the home was awarded. Upon receiving his specially adapted home in March, Jauregui enthusiastically shared: “[It’s] an amazing experience! The floors are hardwood, the doorways are wider; it will give me more accessibility to everything. One of the biggest things is the kitchen. Being able to do everything I think I should be able to do for myself will build up my confidence a lot. The amount of support we get is phenomenal!”
You can hear SSG Jauregui share his story by clicking here.
Meet Army SPC Quinton Picone
Army Specialist Quinton Picone lost both of his legs, sustained severe damage to his right hand and suffered extensive hearing loss when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) on his first deployment in Afghanistan in November, 2011. He experienced multiple surgeries and rehabilitation therapies throughout his long recovery, and progressed to the point that he was able to compete in the 2013 Warrior Games in field, sitting volleyball and swimming events. Quinton returned to his home town to continue recovery and rehabilitation and has been living with his parents until he received his completed HFOT home on April 11, 2015. He enjoys hunting, fishing, spending time with family and friends, and is an active member of the local VFW. In August of last year, he began working at the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant.
SPC Picone’s blinds were professionally measured and installed by Gentry Parker, franchise owner of Budget Blinds serving Tulsa, who was on hand for Key Ceremony Day when SPC Picone received the keys to his new home. SPC Picone shares thoughts on his new home and the HFOT family: “Being independent, being able to do 100% of things by myself whether on my legs or in my chair…you have to learn to adapt and overcome and do things differently. [In the new home] the stove and microwave are lower than in a conventional setting. The cabinets are all open, it shouldn’t be hard for me to get up to them without overextending myself and possibly fall. Once all the clouds finally start to go away, you see there are all these people coming together who truly care and want to help you and it’s a feeling you just can’t beat.”
Listen to SPC Picone and his dad share the experiences by clicking here.
If you‘re looking ahead to a hot summer and thinking about getting more energy-efficient window coverings, a Budget Blinds Style Consultant can help you design the perfect windows. Whether you’re considering blinds, shades, shutters or drapes, we’ve got you covered! 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.
To learn about more ways to support HFOT or to make a donation, go to http://www.hfotusa.org/ways-to-support-our-mission.