I’ve come to learn while working with the Celebration of Service Campaign that The Home Depot Foundation, Team Depot members, and their partner organizations are literally the best of the best. It really makes me proud to be associated with such an amazing group of people who are so committed to improve the lives of our veterans.

Brian Gawne, VP of Operations for The Fisher House Foundation kicked things off with a bang! He is so passionate about what he does, it was really inspiring.

We were fortunate to have dinner with him the night before the project, and he shared the story of the Foundation. You can read about it here in detail, but I’ll try to give a short summary :)

The Fisher House Foundation donates “comfort houses” that are built near military hospitals and VA medical centers. In many cases, veterans have to travel long distances to receive specialized care, and Fisher Houses are designed to offer the family a place to stay free of charge while they support their loved one. Over 17,000 families utilize Fisher Houses every year, saving families more than $25 million dollars in lodging costs (in 2011).

Lifetime philanthropists Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher started the Fisher House program in 1990 by dedicating $20 million dollars to the construction of the first houses.  In addition to their extraordinary support of veterans and their families, the Fishers were involved in many other charitable organizations ranging from the Metropolitan Opera to the Reagan Presidential Library.

The family legacy of philanthropy was passed down to Chairman Kenneth Fisher, who continues the work of the Foundation and brings the count of houses to 57. There is at least one house near every major military medical center.

Consistent with their high regard for veterans and their families, the Fishers intended for each house to feel like a home away from home- even a bit luxurious. The houses are beautiful, boasting lovely architecture and interior features (more on this in another post).

The Miami Fisher House has been open about two years, but the Home Depot Foundation offered to help them with some finishing touches like painting and landscaping.

I bet they didn’t think they were getting these jokers.

But I think we made ourselves useful in the end :) I’m going to share more details and pictures from our project with the Fisher House Foundation later on, so stay tuned!

Disclosure: The Home Depot partnered with bloggers such as me for their Celebration of Service Blog Network. 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 believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

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