Sgt. Chris O’Neal is a local resident of Adairsville and in Mississippi waiting to be deployed to Afghanistan at the moment.
“The Home Depot has a very strong appreciation for our Military and their respective families,” Team Depot Captain Bob Coleman said. “With that in mind, The Home Depot and Operation Homefront partnered to renovate the home of Sgt. Chris O’Neal.”
Coleman said Home Depot announced they were going to give $30 million to veterans for renovations to their homes. Operation Homefront held an essay contest to determine who would receive the funds and passed along the winner’s names to Home Depot.
“There was a huge focus to find families in need,” Coleman said.
He met with Sgt. O’Neil’s wife Heather and saw that a car jack was holding up the front poarch, and he knew with the help of his team they were doing a great thing.
“We supplied the family with a $5,000 grant and the labor was from Home Depot associates from 12 different Home Depots,” Coleman said.
Some of the repairs consisted of a new back deck, stairs and handrails, new handrails across the front porch, two new exterior doors, new vinyl floor in the kitchen and the two bathrooms, new flower beds in the front and on the side of the house, new terraced gardens in front of the home for erosion control, a fresh paint on some of the exterior trim, pressure washing the house and sidewalk, much landscaping and a new self propelled lawn mower.
All together there were a total of 54 volunteers that help renovate the house. They started at 8:30 a.m. and left around 5:30 p.m.
“We did a follow up and had four people out for about six hours fixing up,” the next day, Coleman said.
Chik-Fil-A also helped out by giving the volunteers free food.
According to Coleman the Chik-Fil-A in Calhoun supplied breakfast for the crew, and the Chik-Fil-A in Woodstock provided the volunteers lunch.
Coleman said every Home Depot retail store in the U.S., Canada and Mexico has a Team Depot program and Team Depot volunteers.
There are projects like this all over that are led by Team Depot Captains, like Coleman, who are trained volunteer leaders who also serve as “our ambassadors to the community.”
Team Depot was founded in 1992, according to Coleman, and since then they have contributed millions of hours of volunteer service to communities throughout North America.
He said the purpose of the program is to increase the capacity of local nonprofits and give back to areas where associates live and work by bringing together volunteer actions, do-it-yourself expertise, product donations and financial grants.
“With 54 volunteers from 12 different Home Depot stores, Operation Homefront, North Ga. Community Action and Chic-Fil-A, a tremendous impact was made for the family,” Coleman said.
Sgt. O’Neil is awaiting deployment at the moment, but this should be quite a surprise for him when he returns home from his duties.