Celebration of Service with Team Depot {Austin}

Note: This is a sponsored post for The Home Depot Foundation. Every thought, opinion, and experience is 100% my own.

Remember the Celebration of Service event that I attended in Houston 2 weeks ago? I had the opportunity to attend another awesome event in my hometown of Austin! The Home Depot Foundation is transforming 1,000 homes for veterans in 2 months from 9/11 until Veterans Day on 11/11. While this project was a lot smaller than the one I attended in Houston, it was just as spirited! We had 40+ Home Depot employees volunteer their time and talent on their day off to help the Jones family make their new home wheelchair friendly.

Team Depot Celebration of service day with Home Depot

 

I had the pleasure of meeting Joey and Meg Jones who recently moved to Austin from Washington D.C. for Joey’s new job as Director of Marketing for Boot Campaign.  Joey lost both of his legs above the knee after stepping on an improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan in 2010. While serving in Afghanistan Joey disarmed over 85 IEDs and disposed of several thousands of pounds of unknown bulk explosives. How scary is that? Terrifying, if you ask me! I am so thankful for the brave men and women that risk their lives everyday to serve and protect our country!

Team Depot Celebration of service day with Home Depot

While Joey was in recovery at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, he started a Peer Visit Program that allowed him and other wounded warriors to encourage and mentor more recently wounded warriors in the in-patient wards. For his service and commitment to uplifting and supporting wounded veterans, Joey received honors including the Purple Heart, the Outstanding Military Community Service Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon.

Team Depot

Joey uses his prosthetic legs at work, but he “pops” them off and uses a wheelchair when he’s at home. I had no idea, but Meg explained to me that prosthetic legs need to air out, and you can’t wear them 24/7.  Prosthetic legs are attached to the limb by suction, who knew?! So, Team Depot is making their new home wheelchair and prosthetic leg friendly. For instance, their master bathroom has narrow door ways and Joey had to climb out of his wheelchair and army crawl to the shower and toilet because the wheelchair did not fit through the doorways.  A local Home Depot actually widened the bathroom doorway and removed the closet door earlier in the month. The bathroom is being gutted today to install a wheelchair friendly shower and even make a sliding barn door to cover the newly widened doorway that separates the bathroom area from the bedroom.

Team Depot Joey Jones

They live on 5 acres, but Joey was not able to fully utilize the outdoor space because the back doorway is too narrow for his wheelchair. Team Depot widened 2 doorways leading outside. They also added french doors from the master bedroom to a giant new patio that Joey can use with his wheelchair or prosthetic legs. Watching this window turn into french doors in one day was pretty amazing!

Team Depot Austin

And here are the (almost) finished french doors!

Team Depot Austin

Now, check out this view they will have from their master bedroom with the addition of the french doors. Oh I love the Texas hill country, y’all!

Team Depot Austin

The awesome new patio has both stairs and a ramp for the wheelchair with access to the pool. I learned prosthetic legs can get caught on carpet or grass making it much easier to walk on smooth surfaces like concrete or wood. It’s also hard to go down inclines on prosthetics, but stairs are not a problem.

Team Depot Austin

The dust is flying!

Team Depot

Team Depot ripped up all of the carpet out of the house and is adding hardwood floors and making 2 bathrooms wheelchair friendly this week!  We also widened the space at the front door to make entering the house easier in a wheelchair. This was not a one day project, y’all. The entire project will take about a month to complete. I’m so excited to see the space 100% finished!Team depot

I helped with a little dirt work! Team Depot donated a fire pit and it extending the pool patio for Joey to enjoy as much of the outdoor space as possible.

Team Depot

It was an honor to be a part of the Celebration of Service!
Team Depot

Team Depot

The Home Depot Foundation partnered with bloggers such as me for their Celebration of Service program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any product mentioned in these posts. The Home Depot Foundation believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot Foundation’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.


Celebration of Service with Team Depot {Houston}

Note: This is a sponsored post for The Home Depot Foundation. Every thought, opinion, and experience is 100% my own.

On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to attend one of 10 Celebration of Service kick off events for The Home Depot Foundation. I spent the day in H-town while Maxwell hung out with grandma. Me and 500 Team Depot volunteers from the Houston area transformed a home for 328 veterans in one day. I know, it sounds like madness! But y’all, it was so organized and fun and truly a joyful experience to bring smiles and solve real problems for the veterans that live in the Midtown Terrace Suites.

A tiny bit of background, in 2 months from 9/11 until Vetran’s Day (11/11), Team Depot volunteers will transform 1,000 homes for veterans in cities all over the United States. 1000 homes! Crazy awesome, right?! A couple of other amazing things about this event, when I say Team Depot volunteers… I mean 500 people who work at The Home Depot in the Houston area volunteered on their day off (un paid) to give back to their community. They are not required to participate. And the Team Depot volunteers are a happy, spirited group!  Talk about a fun place to work! They clearly do it because they want to serve their community. That alone makes me smile! Secondly, like I said above, 328 vetrans live in the Midtown Terrace Suites, and it was really fun to see their excitement about the work that was happening to their home and of course, my favorite part, hear their stories. It was so fun to see Team Depot volunteers and the vetrans getting their hands dirty together! It was a major team effort, y’all!

And let me just set the tone of the day with this little nugget of info… we had a veteran who lived on site DJ-ing for us!

Team Depot Celebration of service day with Home Depot

I had the pleasure of chatting with many of the 328 veterans that live here, including Charles Lockman. He served in the United States Army for 6 years and ended up homeless after a battle with substance abuse that ultimately landed him in jail. Charles has been sober for over one year and is currently in school to become a licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor so that he can help others that are struggling with substance abuse. He explains how “the greatest asset a person has is their time” and he is very appreciate that Team Depot is beautifying his living pace so that he can enjoy listening to music outdoors and proudly entertain his family members at his home.  And here is the sea of orange at 8am before we got our work on!

Celebration of service day with Home Depot

Like I said above, this was no small task, we are talking about a home for 328 people! The Home Depot Foundation site planned for 6 months to determine how to best help the vetrans at the Midtown Terrace Suites. I love that they put so much thought and effort into solving real problems that exists on the property. Here are 5 of the big issues at the Midtown Terrace and how 500 Team Depot volunteers solved put their talents to use to make 328 vetrans homes more well… homey!

1. Rain in the walkways: As you can see from the picture below, the blue tarps were nailed up as a temporary solution to keep the water out of the hallways. Every time it rained, they literally had to sweep the water out and re nail up the blue tarps. Solution: Build a slanted roof that drains into the flower beds and waters the plants! Genius!

Celebration of service day with Home Depot

 

2. Community space: This building is an old Days Inn hotel, and this space was once a pool that got filled in with grass 11 years ago. Team Depot wanted to give the vetrans a shady space to hangout, mingle, garden, grill, or just relax and listen to music. In one day, we added a pavilion, walkways, grills, a horseshoe pit, bocce ball area, benches, and cleaned up the landscaping with mulch and flowers!

Celebration of service day with Home Depot3. Concrete community area: We also gave a major makeover to the upstairs cement community space. One major problem here was that the cement reflects sunlight and it makes it so hot that no one ever used the area! To help the Texas sun, we painted it green.  We also added a pavilion, fire pits, grills, and covered the AC units to make the space prettier!

Celebration of service day with Home Depot

4. Ramp between buildings: This property has 2 separate buildings and there is only one way to get from one building to the other. So, those 2 2×4’s were the old “ramp” and wheel chairs could not get from one building to the other. Now, cars and wheelchairs can freely get from one building to the other allowing residents to freely access to all of the community space!

Celebration of service day with Home Depot

5. Beatification of property: Painted all 328 doors, added new numbers, mulched and weeded all flower beds, cleaned the entrance sign, and pressure washed the walkways.

Celebration of service day with Home Depot

This is a huge complex, and I loved looking up and seeing the place speckled with orange all. day. long!

Celebration of service day with Home Depot

And just in case you forgot what city we were in, here’s a hint… Gotta love the Texas pride even on the SUV’s!

Celebration of service day with Home Depot

Another fun fact from the day, Team Depot volunteers utilized 1,300 bags of mulch!  Mulch were hauled all over the complex to be spread throughout 25+ flower beds at the Midtown Terrace Suites!

Celebration of service day with Home Depot

I was taking bazillions of pictures and chatting with veterans and volunteers for most of the day, but you better believe I found time to get my hands dirty and paint doors and glue on new numbers!

Celebration of service day with Home Depot

And since my big ol’ arm is covering up my fancy apron, I must show you the coolest apron on site!

Team Depot Apron

After 10+ hour of sweating in the Houston heat, we had a bunch of happy, thirsty, paint adorned Team Depot volunteers still smiling and even two stepping to the country music blaring on the speakers thanks to our resident veteran DJ!

Celebration of service day with Home Depot

I feel proud that I was able to be part of this seriously awesome event, give 328 veterans a better place to call home, and to be able to thank vetrans in person for serving our country! If you’re interested in learning more about the Celebration of Service kick off events you can follow @TeamDepot on twitter (I bet there is one happening in a city near you!) and/ or read more from the bloggers at each of the events: (I’ll update as I find the posts!): Stacy in Atlanta, Amy in Cleveland, Kari in Los Angeles

Team Depot

The Home Depot Foundation partnered with bloggers such as me for their Celebration of Service program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to say in these posts. The Home Depot Foundation believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot Foundation’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. – See more at: http://www.notjustahousewife.net/2014/09/celebration-of-service.html#sthash.YECTmP85.dpuf

Falling in love with the World Market fall collection

Note: This post is sponsored by World Market, but all opinions are 100% my own. 

Y’all know that I’ve got World Market goods all over our house, and their fall Desert Caravan Collection is right up my alley! The jewel tones, metal, wood, and textures galore make my decorating heart happy! That colorful poof (#3 on the list) lives in the nursery and we use it every day… Maxwell can actually pull himself up on the poof now! And one of these chandeliers will soon be making an appearance above our kitchen table… Here’s a sneak peek at my latest kitchen DIY.

World Market fall collection

1. Mirza Chair

2. Metal Orb Chandelier 

3. Multicolored Knitted Sari Poof

4. Capiz Lotus Hanging Pendant Lantern

5. Natural Sheepskin Rug

6. Hammered Cooper Hanging Pendant Light

7. Pink and Orange Kaira Flatweave Wool Area Rug

8. Aimee Arrow Baskets

9. Pacific Blue Elliot Wingback Chair

10. Diamond Hurricane Candle Holder

11. Natural Bamboo Hanging Pendant

12. Blue Surf Recycled Sari Throw Pillow

13. Brass Disc Hanging Pendant Lamp

14. Olivewood Cheese Cutting Board

15. Arrow Throw Pillow

Want a chance to shop this super fun collection? World Market is hosting a s “Spruce up Your Space” Pinterest Sweepstakes! One very lucky winner will win a $2000 gift card to shop for their favorite Desert Caravan Collection items! Click here to enter!

World Market fall collection