(ARA) – A new outreach program that allows civilians to contribute to the rebuilding of veterans’ homes is the latest evidence that Americans are behind their service people.
Families across the United States are making sacrifices to send their loved ones overseas in defense of our country. Unfortunately, many of these families are struggling to make ends meet, and understandably, home repairs move to the bottom of their list. The image on the right is Army Sergeant Ryan C. Major, of Silver Spring, Md., who is the first beneficiary of Heroes at Home. The program provided Ryan with a wheelchair accessible bedroom, bathroom and elevator during an event last spring.
Heroes at Home is a joint effort between Sears Holdings and Rebuilding Together, the nation’s leading non-profit working to preserve affordable home ownership by providing free home rehabilitation. The program aids military families by making necessary repairs, improvements and modifications to their homes, and allows the public to contribute to the renovations.
Last year, Heroes at Home raised nearly $4 million, allowing the program to help hundreds of families, including 70 this spring.
While the public can go to Sears.com any time to make a donation, the program will kick off a national fund-raising effort beginning May 22. Members of the public can nominate military families for the program online at Sears.com or by calling (800) 473-4229. Consumers can also contribute by making a purchase with their Sears credit card at any of its stores.
Lawrence and Dina Clark of Portland, Ore. are being helped by the program. After serving in the Vietnam War as an infantryman and as a military policeman, Lawrence was honorably discharged in 1969. While he receives modest disability payments and maintains a part-time job to help support this family of six, he has little money set aside for home maintenance. Under the program, the Clarks will receive aid to make safety upgrades and critical repairs to the structure of the home where they have lived for 15 years.
‘This means so much to me and my family,’ says Dina Clark. ‘We’re so grateful and excited that Rebuilding Together Portland and Sears have come together to help us. It’s really inspiring to see that people care so much about veterans.’
In Peoria, Ill., a group of union firefighters nominated one of their own, Gary Shehan and his wife Deborah, to receive help from Heroes at Home. Gary, an army veteran, served his country from 1962 to 1965 until being discharged. Gary also worked as a firefighter for 29 years until health problems forced him to retire. The Shehans’ home will undergo significant repairs, including a roof renovation, code-compliant wiring and plumbing repair.
‘Words aren’t enough to describe our thanks,’ the Shehans say. ‘We were plagued with worry for years, and with the Heroes at Home program coming in to renovate our home, we have peace of mind.’
Here are some ways Americans can aid military families with home maintenance and improvement:
- If you know a veteran or military family, take the initiative and offer to assist with basic home projects. Something as simple as helping a family repaint their living room can help enhance the enjoyment of their home.
- Organize a fund-raiser through your church, club, school or community organization.
- Visit www.sears.com or call (800) 473-4229 to nominate a military family for the program, or donate to the cause in-store, or online at sears.com after May 22.
If you make a cash donation to Heroes at Home, 100 percent of your donation will benefit Rebuilding Together, a 501 (c) (3) organization. Your entire cash donation is eligible for tax deduction treatment for US Federal tax purposes. Between May 22 and July 6, Sears Holdings Management Corporation will make a donation to Heroes at Home for every purchase made with a Sears credit card at any of its stores up to $500,000.
Courtesy of ARAcontent