OGDEN, Utah – A foundation run by a home improvement store worked recently to transform the home of a disabled war veteran.
Volunteers with “Team Depot” descended on the home of Helen Lange, a disabled veteran who served the U.S. for six years.
Home Depot Associate Derek Carver said not even bad weather could curb their enthusiasm for the project.
“It’s wet,” he said. “It’s cold. Our volunteers aren’t deterred. We are determined to be here and give back to Helen."
About 75 volunteers turned out earlier this month to update Lange’s home to better accommodate her needs. Lange suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and a knee injury, and she also has difficulty breathing when the air quality declines and the air kicks up dust.
“She served in the Air Force,” Carver said. “She has four children, a single mother that needed some help, and today we are here to give back to her."
Andy Olsen is a veteran volunteer and store manager for Home Depot, and he said he was glad to help Lange and her family.
“Being able to take care of someone who has paid that price for our country, stepped outside their comfort zone of what was safe to them, so it means a lot to me definitely,” he said. “That warrior ethos of never leaving someone behind really plays into the heart of all veterans."
Carver said Lange’s mobility is expected to decrease with age, and he said he and the other volunteers are able to make that struggle a little easier through their efforts. He said they even included a few surprises in their modifications to the home.
"She knows this is happening, she's not quite aware of the scope,” Carver said. “So there’s gonna be some surprises for her. Right behind me we have this Pinterest fountain with just some amazing work that we have put into that this morning. Back here she has an incredible view of Salt Lake City area. We are gonna do a fantastic little deck area, porch area, for her to sit back here with her family and enjoy the view."
The volunteers did a lot of the landscaping for the home and cleared away debris. They also put down new floors. The effort is part of Home Depot’s two-month initiative where more than 9,000 associates will complete 350 service projects for veterans.