It’s been an exciting year for Budget Blinds® and Homes for Our Troops (HFOT). During 2015, our Budget Blinds franchisees donated time and expertise to measure and install faux wood blinds in 25 HFOT specially adapted veteran’s homes.
That’s 25 families whose lives have been changed.
Not sure what that means? Well, since 2004, HFOT has been building mortgage-free homes for Post-9/11 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. In 2014, Budget Blinds partnered with HFOT, and along with our long-time manufacturing partner, Springs Window Fashions®, Budget Blinds will supply faux wood blinds from our Signature Series® product line in every home they build over the next three years.
The heart behind HFOT’s hands-on mission of building homes is the belief that having a specially adapted home that gives back lost independence and is a secure place to raise a family will allow the veteran to focus on recovery and rebuilding their lives. It’s a firm foundation to begin building a new family legacy, going to college and pursuing a career.
What is an HFOT specially adapted house?
Technically, an HFOT home has over 40 major adaptations that are ADA compliant (Americans with Disabilities Act) to accommodate wheelchair accessibility throughout. These adaptations include wider halls and doorways, automatic door openers, roll-under sinks, stove tops, and counters, pull-down shelving and a roll-in shower with digital temperature control.
In the words of the recipients, however, each home takes on a deeper, more personal meaning:
- Hope for our future
- Our dream of having a safe home
- One of the greatest blessings I can imagine
- Shows veterans that they are not forgotten
- A place I can call home; comfort and security
- Peace of mind in a world of uncertainty
- A life-changer; makes my life more independent
- Allows me to continue moving forward instead of looking back
- A helping hand to help [military veterans] get back up on our feet
It’s truly an honor to support each home build. “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. 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.” –Chad Hallock, Co-founder, Budget Blinds
Meet Army Sergeant Michael Beck
SGT Michael Beck was on his first deployment in Iraq in 2008, when he and his battalion came under mortar attack. Seeking shelter in the bunker, SGT Beck was the last man in. He was knocked unconscious by the force of two mortar shells, waking five days later. He spent four years at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., receiving therapies and around 70 surgeries, ultimately losing both legs. Despite his injuries, SGT Beck strives to help other amputees realize that life is not over because of an amputation, “There is so much more yet to do in this world.” He enjoys fishing, four-wheeling and helping others, and he and his wife, Nadia, are raising their daughters to be contributing members of society. SGT Beck intends to further his education and go into the field of prosthetics.
The specially adapted HFOT home will change their lives. “Having a home that is accessible will help make my daily life so much easier. Just knowing that I won’t trip or fall on a regular basis will make things better for all of us. I want to thank everybody for making this dream come true for me and my family…and for so many other injured veterans. We are so grateful.”
The team at Budget Blinds serving East Raleigh handled the expert measuring and professional installation of the blinds in SGT Beck’s new home. “As a veteran myself, it’s warming to see that Budget Blinds is willing to go the distance in partnering with an incredible organization like Homes For Our Troops and devote so much effort and money, along with Springs Window Fashions, to help put the finishing, practical touches on these specially adapted houses. As the local franchisee, it’s nice to be able to make a contribution at this level as well.” –Ryan Wilde, franchise owner
See SGT Beck and Nadia tell their story by clicking here.
Meet Marine Captain Cameron West
In October 2010, Captain West received orders to check a compound in Afghanistan for Taliban insurgents rumored to be in the area. The platoon’s movements triggered an improvised explosive device (IED), causing a massive explosion. Capt West lost his right leg and severely damaged the left. He lost vision in his right eye and suffered permanent damage to his right hand. He mastered his prosthetic leg within months, and was able to greet his returning unit, walking, when they returned to Camp Pendleton from deployment in April 2011.
Capt West and his wife, Madison, with their one-year-old baby daughter are looking forward to the freedom and ease the new, specially adapted HFOT home will give. After years of struggling with entry doors, narrow interior doorways, slick floors and what he deems “a balancing act on one leg,” the adaptations including an open layout and safer shower will make life so much better all around. The new home is located where he was born and raised, and he is grateful to HFOT and its generous supporters. “Without this program, it wouldn’t be an option for us to have a home that is completely accessible. It is the beginning of not only a new chapter, but a new journey altogether.”
Capt West is currently a member of HFOT’s Veteran Action and Advisory Team, and hopes to someday spend his time volunteering and teaching the children of other veterans. He and Madison envision opening a nonprofit camp for children of veterans who have dealt with challenges like PTSD, injuries and deployments.
Bill Herder, franchise owner of Budget Blinds serving Kennesaw, was excited about the opportunity to measure and install faux wood blinds in Capt West’s new home, as well as to participate in Volunteer Day and the Key Ceremony when Capt West received the keys to his new home.
Click here to view the video of Capt West and Madison as they share their experience.
The window blinds for all seasons
Faux wood blinds were selected for all the HFOT homes because of their versatility and efficiency. Since HFOT homes are built across the country, extreme weather differences were taken into consideration. Our Signature Series Faux wood window blinds:
- Provide complete light and privacy control
- Increase energy efficiency by blocking heat gain and loss
- Will not fade, chip or peel from sun exposure
- Are highly moisture resistant, and appropriate for kitchens and bathrooms
- Add classic beauty and complement any décor
- Can be customized with window treatments like valances or drapery panels
- Are easy to clean and give worry-free operation for years
If new window coverings are part of your plans for the New Year, Budget Blinds’ easy-care faux wood blinds and numerous styles of window coverings, including custom shutters and blinds, Roman shades, drapery panels and more, offer unlimited design possibilities. Call 866-879-9730 today to schedule a FREE, in-home consultation and view samples and design guides right in the comfort of your own home. Or go online at www.budgetblinds.com to find a Style Consultant near you. Check out the many benefits and options that custom window coverings can provide, including increased energy efficiency, eco-friendly products and child-safety features like cordless operation and motorization.
To make a year-end donation to Homes for Our Troops, or to learn about the many ways to support the ministry, including taking part in local builds, go to https://www.hfotusa.org/.