Volunteers provide critical home renovations for disabled Hollywood Air Force Veteran

2011-11-26 07-42-11.293 Volunteers provide critical home renovations for disabled Hollywood Air Force Veteran

Darlene Pistocchi

Community Correspondent at Hollywood Gazette

Darlene is a professional writer, voice-over and performing arts specialist
2011-11-26 07-42-11.293 Volunteers provide critical home renovations for disabled Hollywood Air Force Veteran

Hollywood native, Kenneth Mitchell and his wife Joan, are long-time residents that love their community. The couple wants to age comfortably in their home of over 26 years but, in order for them to do that, they needed critical renovations.

“Ken served in the U.S. Air Force and Joan was a teacher of 30 years for a teen parent program. But, they now have a history of health issues that they are trying to overcome,” explains Robin Martin, spokesperson for Rebuilding Together Broward County, an organization that brings volunteers and communities together to improve the homes and lives of low-income homeowners throughout Broward County.

“When Rebuilding Together got a call from the Mitchells,” explains Martin, “the organization saw an opportunity to make a difference in their lives. The elderly couple had hopes to stay in their longtime home but there were significant health and safety issues that made it difficult. So we reached out to Home Depot for help.”

Since the first the Home Depot store opened in 1979, giving back has been a core value for the company and a passion for its associates. Improving the homes and lives of U.S. military veterans and their families and aiding communities affected by natural disasters are their prime focus.

On November 3, the Mitchells got their wish. More than 35 area Home Depot associates partnered with Rebuilding Together Volunteers to begin renovation and transformation of the Mitchell home.

HOLLYWOOD-VET-6 Volunteers provide critical home renovations for disabled Hollywood Air Force Veteran
Ken pictured center

Volunteer projects throughout the day included: painting the exterior and interior of the home; replacing cabinets and counter tops; installing a new toilet, vanity top and appliances. Grab bars and other safety devices were also added for the couple and on the outside, they painted and landscaped the house and yard.

How projects are determined

All projects begin with an assessment from Rebuilding Together and Home Depot to determine the need and scope of work. Once they determine that the veteran homeowner is truly in need and that they can make an impact on their living situation, Rebuilding Together applies for a grant from the Home Depot Foundation.

“Given the age and physical well-being of the Mitchell family, these improvements will allow them to sail into their golden years in the comforts of their home,” shares Martin. “Prior to the project, the home was not well-equipped for an elderly disabled couple to live in and as a result, the home was a safety hazard for their continued living.”

Since 2011, The Home Depot Foundation has invested more than $160 million to provide safe housing to veterans, and along with the help of Team Depot volunteers, has transformed more than 26,700 homes for veterans.  The organization strives to preserve and revitalize houses and communities, assuring that low-income homeowners, particularly those who are elderly, disabled and veterans, live in comfort, safety and independence.

How to apply

Homeowners apply to Rebuilding Together and the organization screens and connects the homeowners with local Home Depot stores. The process takes a minimum of 2-4 months, but can take longer. To find out more information visit www.rebuildingtogetherbroward.org or call 954-772-9945.

You can also visit homedepot.com/teamdepot, follow @teamdepot on Twitter and Instagram and like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamdepot.

About Darlene Pistocchi

Community Correspondent at Hollywood Gazette Darlene is a professional writer, voice-over and performing arts specialist