Not even a sudden windstorm could stop a group of volunteers from building a brand-new deck and access ramp for U.S. Army veteran Anthony Rosas and his wife, Maria.
On May 8, 2023, some 50 volunteers from Team Depot, The Home Depot’s associate volunteer force, worked alongside Rebuilding Together Sandoval County to kick off the three-day project. Led by Dana Oliveri, project manager with Rebuilding Together Sandoval County, they demolished an existing deteriorated deck, as well as 100 feet of old fence. Then, they built a brand-new deck with an access ramp, new fence and did some landscaping work.
Budget Dumpster donated a 30 yard dumpster for the project, which volunteers quickly filled with construction debris and yard waste. Despite the threat of a windstorm on the last day of work, volunteers completed the project on time to the delight of the Rosases, particularly Maria.
“She was in tears. They were blown away with the generosity of the Home Depot people.”Brad Wood, president of the board of directors | Rebuilding Together Sandoval County
Serving Those Who’ve Served
Anthony Rosas served in the U.S. Army on active duty in Seoul, South Korea, from 1968 to 1970. He later returned to California to serve in the reserves until his honorable discharge in 1974.
Because of health issues, he isn’t able to keep up with work around the house. So the deck had about 25 years’ worth of deferred repairs.
“We decided just to demo everything that was associated with the deck and build from scratch,” Wood says.
Demolition work took about 20 staff hours and generated the most waste. The next day, volunteers spent another 12 hours pouring concrete and building posts for the foundation. From there, it was all hands on deck (no pun intended) to build the new porch and fence and complete the landscaping work.
This was the second project for area veterans that Rebuilding Together completed so far this year. Wood hopes to have a few others in 2024. The challenge, he adds, is coming up with the resources. Even with The Home Depot Foundation providing most of the labor and materials, the local nonprofit had a lot of work and expense to figure out on its end, he says.
Budget Dumpster’s in-kind dumpster donation allowed Rebuilding Together to buy lunch for the volunteers and use the money saved for other expenses, including paying rent on its office space.
“We couldn’t have done a project like this without that type of support. Anytime I can save money on a renovation, it makes an impact.”Brad Wood, president of the board of directors | Rebuilding Together Sandoval County
Partnering With Home Depot
The Home Depot Foundation contacted the national chapter for Rebuilding Together looking for projects to aid veterans. The foundation’s partnership with Rebuilding Together Sandoval County is part of a more than $10-million effort to complete community service projects nationally in 2023, according to a company release.
As part of its celebration of 30 years of giving back to communities, Team Depot joined Rebuilding Together volunteers across the U.S. to build and install wheelchair ramps, landscape and complete much-needed home repairs for veterans like Rosas. Such projects are “at the core of who we are as a company,” says Bryan Foster, Team Depot captain.
“It was incredibly special to be able to help a deserving veteran like Mr. Rosas and his wife. Seeing the smiles on their faces and knowing that by giving just a few hours of our time, we were able to make a huge impact in someone else’s life — that’s what it’s all about. We are grateful for our partnership with Rebuilding Together Sandoval County and the hard work from our associate volunteers and all who took part in bringing this project to life.”Bryan Foster, Team Depot captain | The Home Depot Foundation
Rebuilding Together’s Wood says working with Team Depot was a positive experience and he’d like to work with them in the future.
“Those guys were a hoot,” he says. “They were very generous and they showed up and went right to work.”
Since 2011, The Home Depot Foundation has invested more than $475 million in veteran causes and improved more than 55,000 veteran housing facilities, ensuring more of our nation’s heroes have a safe, comfortable place to call home that fits their individual needs.
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