Remodeling for Charity Series: Home Makeovers for Military Families, Part 3 of 5

From on August 26, 2009 in General Remodel

donate to heroes at home heroes at homeThis week at CalFinder, we’re proud to feature five remarkable organizations that give the gifts of stability, health, and improved quality of life by remodeling homes for families in need. Today, we give the floor to Heroes at Home, a Sears-sponsored organization that raises money for Rebuilding Together’s Veteran Housing program. This means that for the families whose sons and daughters or husbands and wives have risked their personal safety to serve our government’s military, necessary home repairs will be provided free of charge. And it often comes at a time it’s needed most. charity heroes at home strickland

On the Road to Recovery

When U.S. Army Scout Sergeant Chris Strickland was deployed for the second time to Iraq, he and his wife, Mandi, had no idea what challenges lay ahead. In 2006, Chris’s Humvee was struck by a roadside bomb. As a result of the attack, both of his legs were shattered, his right arm had to be amputated below the elbow, he went blind in his right eye and he suffered a traumatic brain injury.Three years later, this Purple Heart recipient is on the road to recovery, and with his dad as his business partner, he owns and operates an auto parts store. But additional frustrations continue to crop up. For months are he was medically discharged, Chris suffered frequent falls around his house due to his injuries. That’s when Heroes at Home stepped in to help.

Volunteers modified his house to reduce Chris’s chance for accidents. They made bathrooms and entryways more accessible, added railings for him to hold onto, and improved the flooring for his safety. Chris, Mandi and their son, Bradley, who they named after one of Chris’s good friends who was killed in Iraq, have settled into a more comfortable lifestyle with the help of Heroes at Home. The living conditions are safer for Chris and as he says, “I can now enjoy every room in the house with my family.” charity heroes edna j.

Beautiful Edna J.

After receiving help from Heroes at Home, Edna J. of Chicago, Illinois feels more at ease taking care of her six adopted grandchildren, ages 7, 11, 13, 14, 15 and 17, in the home where she has lived for 37 years. The 73-year-old Army widow received a “hand up” from the program in April 2009.

The VanderWert Project

Sergeant Jonathan VanderWert, his wife Blake and their nine children also have Heroes at Home to thank. The VanderWerts bought a large fixer-upper to give the family more living space. Jonathan thought he would be able to renovate the home himself until he was called to active duty with the Minnesota National Guard, leaving his wife and children in a dilapidated house. When Heroes at Home was informed of the family’s situation, their volunteers and some from Rebuilding Together worked on the New Prague, Minnesota home until it was livable. The family of 11 can now enjoy home-cooked meals from

These households are just three of the many similar success stories for American military families. To date, nearly 500 homes have been rebuilt by Heroes across the country.

Celebrating its third Spring campaign, the Sears Heroes at Home program raised more than two million dollars to support Rebuilding Together’s repairs, improvements and modifications made on homes of military families. Bank of America and Booz Allen Hamilton are among other sponsors who, along with Sears, volunteer for and fund the program. Overall, Sears has contributed nearly $9 million to Rebuilding Together’s Veterans Housing program. And the company has long stood out as a model of corporate leadership committed to serving customers and the community.Tomorrow, we’ll be spotlighting Make It Right, Brad Pitt’s organization to help rebuild New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina.

Heroes at Home, VanderWert project in New Prague, MN (November 2007)

charity heroes vanderwert houseKitchen Before:
charity heroes kitchen beforeKitchen After:
charity heroes kitchen after

Heroes at Home, Edna J. project (April 2009)

charity heroes at home sink