Purple Heart Homes, state credit union leagues, and credit unions join forces to help military veterans with home renovations
STATESVILLE, NC (August 10, 2016) — Purple Heart Homes, a national public charity based in Statesville, NC, announces the kick-off of its inaugural campaign, Operation Veteran Home Renovation. The campaign is designed to engage and recruit the credit union movement to help spruce up homes that mostly older veterans own. (www.purplehearthomesusa.org).
Credit unions have had a close relationship with all branches of the military and support veterans who sacrificed so much for the freedom we value today. So to help make life a little easier for older veterans and their caregivers, Purple Heart Homes has joined forces with the Cornerstone Credit Union League, serving approximately 500 credit unions in Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas; Georgia Credit Union Affiliates, serving 121 member credit unions; and the Southeastern Credit Union League, serving 298 credit unions in Florida and Alabama.
“It is fitting we officially launch this campaign on Purple Heart Day,” said John Gallina, cofounder and executive director of Purple Heart Homes, a combat-wounded Iraq war veteran who received a Purple Heart during his tour of duty. “We were taught to never leave a soldier behind on the battlefield, and we are committed to not leaving them behind at home.”
“It is going to take a movement to thank the 9 million military U.S. veterans age 65 and older, but we’ll do it, remembering their sacrifice by helping renovate veterans’ homes. This is why we are launching this campaign with participating credit unions and their state associations.”
Credit unions who participate in Operation Veteran Home Renovation will identify a veteran whose home needs a ramp, grab bars, railings, a yard cleaned up, or a fresh coat of paint. Credit unions will raise the funds for the projects, most of which can be completed by credit union staff and community volunteers in a day or two. The average cost of a project is $5,000.
Georgia Credit Union League Affiliates CEO Mike Mercer said, “In Georgia there are 304,270 veterans that served in Vietnam, Korea, and WWII. Older veterans are oftentimes overlooked and ignored. They live on fixed income and face increased taxes and a higher cost of living. Many times, because of age and disability, older veterans are not able to keep up with the maintenance on their homes, which is why we joined forces with Purple Heart Homes to do something special for them.”
Cornerstone President Dick Ensweiler said, “We are so committed to this campaign that our league and staff are going to help renovate a home for 99-year-old Santiago Diaz, a WWII veteran living in Fort Worth. We have reached out to all of our credit unions to urge them to either help renovate a home or donate directly to Purple Heart Homes/Credit Unions Care so they can help more veterans remain safely in their own homes.” (purplehearthomesusa.org/donate-1)
Tinker Federal Credit Union in Oklahoma City hosted a Wild West Casino Night fundraiser to help renovate four approved veterans’ homes. “We worked with the Veterans Corner to help us locate and identify veterans that met the criteria developed by the Purple Heart Homes team. Veterans that need help don’t self-identify and usually say ‘someone else needs more help than me,'” said Dave Willis, executive vice president and chief operations officer.
Tinker netted $26,780 from the Casino Night and will hold another fundraiser in the fall.
The 2016 Purple Heart Homes campaign, Operation Veteran Home Renovation, officially kicks off the week of Aug. 8. Participating leagues and credit unions will have until Nov. 12 to complete a project or make a donation directly to Purple Heart Homes (purplehearthomesusa.org/donate-1).
To learn more about the Purple Heart Homes campaign, Operation Veteran Home Renovation, and to join the movement to help renovate a home in your area for a deserving, approved veteran, contact the Purple Heart Homes office in Statesville, NC, at 704-838-4044 or go online at www.purplehearthomesusa.org to request information.
About Purple Heart Homes
Purple Heart Homes is a 501(c)3entity founded by Dale Beatty and John Gallina, two Iraq combat-wounded veteran, that remain on a mission to provide housing solutions to service-connected disabled veterans and their families. Driven by the belief that no veteran should be left behind, Purple Heart Homes, together with the community, is committed to ensuring quality-of-life solutions for disabled American veterans from all eras.