Every year on the Fourth of July, we celebrate precious freedoms that make our lives full and meaningful. But we must also be ever mindful of the terrible price paid for that freedom and the men and women who sacrificed so much. Since 2004, Homes For Our Troops (HFOT) has been striving to honor those extreme sacrifices by building and donating specially adapted custom homes for severely injured post-9/11 Veterans, to enable them to rebuild their lives. To date, over 319 specially adapted homes have been donated and 71 more are in varying stages of completion.
One of the three-floor plans available to Veterans that accommodate over 40 special adaptations and safety features for independent living
Continuing its legacy of assisting Veterans, Budget Blinds® became a corporate sponsor of HFOT in 2014, supported by our manufacturing partner, Springs Window Fashions who donates the window blinds that are installed in every HFOT home. Our network of Budget Blinds franchise owners donates time and expertise to measure and professionally install custom faux wood blinds for severely injured Veterans and their families nationwide, wherever the homes are built.
Functionality and beauty go hand in hand
Every room is enhanced with the classic beauty of white faux wood blinds, with specialty motorized blinds in the master bath to provide the added safety of not having to reach across the tub to adjust the blinds. Throughout the home, light and privacy control are assured day or night, and the energy efficiency of window blinds helps to lower utility bills by blocking seasonal heat or cold. Blinds can be dressed up with fabric valances or drapery panels for added color and to stylize windows for any home decorating scheme, adding beauty and comfort.
The fully accessible bathroom is a favorite adaptation for Veterans in wheelchairs as they can now safely and independently manage their own personal care
Ultimately, restoring lost freedom and independence to severely injured Veterans is a goal of these specially adapted homes, and Budget Blinds is honored to participate with Homes For Our Troops in their mission. Each home has a story to tell of adversity, courage, and day-to-day perseverance in the face of challenges most of us cannot imagine. Be inspired by our two Veterans’ stories below.
Meet Army Sergeant First Class Christopher “Chris” Livesay
SFC Chris Livesay joined the Army at 17, following a long family tradition of serving. After four years, he took a one-year break before reenlisting in 1996 and then completing 21 years in service in various Special Forces groups before retiring in 2014. Despite the 2003 firefight in Iraq that necessitated the amputation of his left leg, he was able to go back to jumping from planes and became the first amputee to graduate from the Army’s Pathfinder school, among other special designations throughout his career.
Chris is married to Catherine, whom he met in Dallas after his injury, and they have two small children. The past 16 years of living with the challenges of a non-wheelchair-accessible house and having to spend too much painful time on his prosthetic have been discouraging. Chris learned of Homes For Our Troops from a previous home recipient and is excited at the prospect of a specially adapted home in New Braunfels, TX, where he can rest his legs and recover. “I now spend less time worrying about life and more time enjoying my family and doing things I love such as hunting, fishing, and volunteering,” he says. Like many home recipients before him, Chris is looking forward to the roll-in shower and tub.
Together, Chris and Catherine are looking forward to the freedom and safety of the home, a kitchen where he can help cook, space to entertain and homeschool their kids, and bandwidth for Catherine to complete her degree and Chris to also go to school. He shares, “What you give is not just a home but the hope and freedom necessary for us to move forward with our new lives. Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts.” Catherine echoes those sentiments, “Homes For Our Troops is a restored dream. It’s freedom lost that we don’t think we have, and now it’s handed back to us. All these opportunities. Life can be better!”
The long-anticipated moment of cutting the ribbon to enter their new home and step into a bright, new future
Texas has been a most generous state for welcoming returning Veterans, and franchise owners Linda and Jeffery Schield of Budget Blinds of North San Antonio have donated their time and expertise to install custom blinds in 19 HFOT homes, including this one for Chris Livesay and his family. It’s a labor of love, giving back to deserving Veterans, and Linda shares, “Our community is not only full of active military, but many military retirees want to make the San Antonio area their last post and build their forever homes here. I think that’s why we have been blessed with so many HFOT projects in our area!”
Listen in as Chris and Catherine share their story here.
Meet Marine Sergeant Christopher Hancock
SGT Christopher Hancock followed in the footsteps of his two Army parents by enlisting in the military after graduating high school. He enlisted in the Marines as a combat engineer, loving the travel and cultural diversity he experienced all over the world. In 2011 during his second deployment in Afghanistan, he knelt down on an improvised explosive device (IED) while on patrol and lost both of his legs. Many months and over 50 surgeries at Walter Reed Medical Center left him lethargic and unwilling to put on his prosthetic legs. But after six months, he decided “to do this” and credits his son, Matthew, as his motivation. “My son is the motivation for everything I do, whether from marathons to just living life and painting pictures—whatever we do. He has cerebral palsy, so he has issues that he has to face growing up and I try to be a positive example. He’s my strength and my life and there’s nothing greater in the world.”
Christopher has chosen Jacksonville, NC, for his new home, staying within a support network he has built in the area. His present home doesn’t allow enough space for his wheelchair and the open floorplan of the specially adapted HFOT home will give extra space to do activities with his son, including cooking safely in a kitchen with roll-under countertops and accessible appliances. “Homes For Our Troops will allow me to reach a level in my life where I can finally find peace, where I can focus on being a father to my kid. I am looking forward to what the future will bring with HFOT. Having a home will grant opportunity to learn and grow and flourish.” With the security and independence of a mortgage-free home, Christopher hopes to return to school.
SGT Christopher Hancock and son, making life rich and meaningful each and every day
This is the second HFOT home for Jason Mayer, franchise owner of Budget Blinds of Jacksonville, and he was delighted to participate again in helping a severely injured Veteran receive a life-changing home by measuring and installing custom faux woods blinds in every room. “Having a father that served on active duty and growing up in a military town has given me great respect for all our servicemen and women. My staff and I were honored to be a part of giving back to SGT Hancock who sacrificed so much so we can enjoy the freedoms we have today.”
Hear Christopher share his experiences here.
Motorized window coverings, the ultimate convenience
Motorized window coverings merge innovative technology and cutting-edge design to give you an array of features. Motorization allows you to program and automate the opening and closing of your window treatments for enhanced energy efficiency, privacy, and UV protection. From wireless wall switches to hand-held remotes, you have control options for what works best for you. You can also motorize existing window treatments with motorized retrofit solutions from our exclusive Smart Home Collection.
Don’t miss a moment of your movie, reduce sun glare with one-touch control right from your chair
Call 866-525-8054 today to schedule a free, in-home, or virtual* consultation, or go online to www.budgetblinds.com to find your neighborhood Design Consultant who can walk you through all the motorization options to upgrade your home to effortless comfort in every room.
- To make a donation to HFOT, visit We Proudly Support Our Troops.
- Read the latest HFOT July Foundations newsletter here.
- Take the new 360-degree home tour here and see how special adaptations facilitate safety and comfort.
*Virtual consultations may not be available at every location