Last week I had the amazing opportunity to fly down to Miami for a quick trip to be part of another wonderful project that The Home Depot Foundation has taken on to help our nation’s veterans. It is their way of saying thanks to all that have served this country. I am proud to be part of it.
I had never been to Miami and was excited to not only help out for the day of service, but to enjoy a little Florida sunshine. Palm trees everywhere and quite humid, but not unbearable. It was a remarkable trip.
Employees at 17 Miami area Home Depot stores came on their day off to volunteer their time and expertise. They were quite a hard working fun group to spend the day with. Not one single one of them is there because it is required of them. There is cheering, singing, and hugging. There is a huge sense of satisfaction to see how much gets done in one day.
The work we came to do was to paint the bedrooms and spruce up the yard of the Miami Fisher House.
Are you asking yourself – What is the Fisher House?
Well, it isn’t just one house, but many – actually over 40 of them. They are houses that are built on the property or in close vicinity to the nation’s Veteran Administration hospitals.
The Miami Fisher House was built right in the hospital’s parking lot! You would think that it has always been there since the beautiful landscaping looks like it has been there for years.
The Fisher House Foundation came about when over 20 years ago Zachary Fisher saw a young man camping out in his car in a VA Hospital parking lot.
When asked why he was living in his car – he said that he lived far away and the Navy Lodge was full and he could not afford a hotel. That was when Zachary knew how he could give back to all the country’s veterans and started the Fisher House Foundation with his wife Elizabeth.
A Fisher House offers temporary free lodging to the family members and caregivers of veterans receiving care at a VA Hospital. It is like a Ronald McDonald House, but for veterans and their families. The Fisher House Foundation builds and furnishes the homes and then donates them to the VA, which then operates and maintains the houses.
The families who stay at one of the houses each have a private bedroom and bathroom, but share the living, kitchen, laundry, and outdoor space.
The kitchen at the Miami house was beautiful. Each family has their own refrigerator and cabinet space. It is highly organized and is stocked with cookware, dinnerware, and utensils for all to use.
After the house is given to the VA – everything for the house from that point on is up to volunteers to maintain. That is where the Home Depot Foundation comes in. They are supplying some requested and needed services and items. From paint, energy and cost saving light bulbs, to outdoor patio furnishings, a grill, and mulch. Most importantly they help organize the army of orange -The Home Depot employee volunteers who do the work.
There are over 20 bedrooms in the house and I was part of the team to paint them. I worked with two employee volunteers– Danilo and Fabian. Fabian was tall so he did the top section of the walls. Danlio did the bottom half and I got the room prepared for painting and did the cutting-in.
There was a team like this in every room, plus others working outside to make the house and yard look its best.
By the end of the day – this patio was an oasis of comfy seating, plants and tables.
We got to enjoy eating our lunch on the patio while it was going through its transformation.
Before the group of other bloggers and I left at the end of the day, we had the chance for a photo-op while waiting for the van to take us to the airport. Not all the Celebration of Service Bloggers in the Network were at this event. The other 4 will be headed to Columbus, Ohio in November.
From left to right: Ashley from The Handmade Home, Stacy from Not Just a Housewife, Emily from Decor Chick, Dan from Military Avenue, Rachael from Lovely Crafty Home, Trisha from 24/7 Moms, Kris from The New Normal, and me.
We left before all the bedrooms were put back together after painting, so I don’t have any photos of how beautifully they came out. I do although have a new favorite paint color. It was the color we used to paint a few of the bedrooms – Behr – Nurture. It is a soft, neutral, modern pale blue- perfect for a bedroom – the name and color itself.
If you would like to find out more about the Fisher House Foundation, donate new items, or volunteer your time to one in your area, you can find more information on their website.
To learn more, and see what the Home Depot Foundation and associates are up to, click here. To stay up to date on their projects and renovations, be sure to follow them out on Twitter and Facebook. To see more photos of our day, click here!
I have partnered with the Home Depot for their Celebration of Service Blog Network. As part of this program, we received compensation for our involvement. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any product mentioned in these posts. The Home Depot believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.