Home Means Everything to a Veteran

Purple Heart Homes volunteers completely renovate home for Iraq Veteran Lauren Hogan in Bessemer City, NC. Photo: PHH.
Purple Heart Homes volunteers completely renovate home for Iraq Veteran Lauren Hogan in Bessemer City, NC. Photo: PHH.

NC-based Purple Heart Homes Asks for Donations, Volunteers, to Help Active Military Families and Veterans

During this holiday season, Purple Heart Homes is asking people to recognize the importance and meaning of “home” to US military families and give time, materials, or funding to their cause.

Purple Heart Homes is a Nationally-organized 501(c)(3) public charity that is dedicated to providing housing solutions for service connected disabled Veterans that are substantial in function and design. Focusing on safety and accessibility, they’ve helped Veterans with multiple types of injuries, demographics and ages.

We encourage everyone to think of America’s Active Duty Military that are stationed at military bases throughout the world. Foremost, we must all keep the thought of those deployed in warzones and in imminent danger within our hearts on a continual basis. “Home for the Holidays” is not an option for them or their loved ones.

John Gallina, Purple Heart Homes Co-founder and Executive Director said, “We help Veterans of all ages with housing issues. It’s top of mind, that to our Veteran families, “home” means everything. It’s a place to heal, it is a special sanctuary that provides stability and needed neighborly support.”

Here are two stories of veterans helped by their programs:

90-year Veteran Alex Sawchyn:

Alex lives in a quiet peaceful town in Redding, Connecticut. A knock on his door brought an insurance representative providing him with a list of things he needed to do or his homeowners insurance would be cancelled. The estimates (totaling $42,000) for cutting down some trees, painting the house and putting a new roof weren’t feasible. Even after participating in the Berlin Airlift, Alex and his wife were left with few options except moving into an assisted living facility.

Purple Heart Homes along with some very generous volunteers and businesses from the State of Connecticut stepped in to help paint the house, cut down the trees and put on a new roof enabling the Sawchyn’s to remain safely in their home. Aging Veterans and caregivers deserve every chance to stay in their homes, they sometimes just need a little help.

 

Operation Iraqi Freedom Army Veteran Lauren Hogan:

Lauren Hogan is a single mom with two young daughters.  She joined the Army in an effort to prepare her for life.  On November 21, 2004, Lauren was wounded in one of the single deadliest attacks on US forces throughout the Iraq war. A suicide bomber, disguised as an Iraqi Soldier detonated an explosive vest in a crowded mess hall, killing 22 people and injuring 72 others. Lauren received the Purple Heart, for the shrapnel she still carries in her back and after receiving an honorable medical discharge from the Army she moved back in with her parents and often secluded herself from the outside world.

Since being discharged, Lauren has moved multiple times, all across the country while searching for a safe place to call home. As a final effort she purchased a fixer upper in Western NC near her parents. She started fixing it using her disability payments so she could provide a ‘home’ for herself and her two young daughters. While working diligently in her spare time to remodel the small home, Lauren realized her dream was going to take a lot longer than she wanted.

Purple Heart Homes along with community stepped in to completely renovate the 100-year-old mill house giving Lauren Hogan peace of mind and the stability she needed to be able to heal and give her daughters a place to begin to make memories together as a family.

There are over 150 Purple Heart Homes stories.

Purple Heart Homes Chapters are active across the country, including two in North Carolina and New York, and one each in Atlanta, Michigan, South Carolina and Texas.

Current projects include rehabbing and building for Service Connected Disabled Veteran across North Carolina, with additional projects in South Carolina, Florida, Maryland, and the western US. Programs assist disabled veterans who are homeowners to improve accessibility, or wish to purchase an accessible home:

  • VAIP — Veterans Aging in Place — accessibility projects
  • VHOP — Veteran Homeownership Program — accessible homes, 50% mortgage assistance
  • Operation:  Veteran Home Renovation — accessibility and rehab projects
  • BOOTS TO BACKYARDS™ — Mentor Program (for veterans returning from service and adjusting to civilian life post-injury)

How to Help

Be a part of the Purple Heart Homes story in providing needed housing assistance to deserving Veteran families. You can help by:

  • Making a monetary donation.
  • Donating building supplies.
  • Donating a home. (Veteran families sometimes relocate to have a home!)
  • Volunteering your time, or your group’s time.
  • Performing an Eagle Scout project for one of their veterans.

Volunteers assist with a variety of tasks ranging from construction to fundraising. Sign up as a volunteer at www.phhusa.org/volunteer-ff .

Thousands of Veterans, just like the in the stories above, are in need of accessible-housing help! Especially during this giving season, a monetary donation makes a difference. Visit this link to donate.

More Information

Founded by John Gallina and Dale Beatty, who both served in the North Carolina National Guard, Purple Heart Homes is designed to reach generations of veterans in need of housing solutions. They have been serving qualified “Service Connected Disabled Veterans” since 2008. A volunteer Board of Directors oversees financials, approval and prioritization of projects, and fundraising. This nonprofit is online at www.phhusa.org.

Are you a Service Connected Disabled Veterans seeking help with accessible housing? The Purple Heart Homes website includes a form to apply for assistance here.

Volunteers with Purple Heart Homes Front Range Chapter with Vietnam Veteran Arthur Mayfield. Photo: PHH.
Volunteers with Purple Heart Homes Front Range Chapter with Vietnam Veteran Arthur Mayfield. Photo: PHH.

 

Purple Heart Homes Front Range Colorado Chapter President Diana Fleming involves volunteers to build a wheelchair accessible ramp, installed a new front door, widened a bathroom and bathroom door for Vietnam Veteran Arthur Mayfield, an above the knee amputee. Source: PHH.
Purple Heart Homes Front Range Colorado Chapter President Diana Fleming involves volunteers to build a wheelchair accessible ramp, installed a new front door, widened a bathroom and bathroom door for Vietnam Veteran Arthur Mayfield, an above the knee amputee. Source: PHH.

 

 

Source: Purple Heart Homes, Inc.

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About Kay Whatley 2244 Articles
Kay Whatley serves as Editor and Reporter with The Grey Area News. Kay is a published author with over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Kay Whatley is wife to Frank Whatley, founder of The Grey Area™ newspaper and The Grey Area News online news website.