Interview with House of Heroes in Savannah, GA
We are proud to present you our interview with House of Heroes, Inc. Here in South Shore Roofing, the best roofing contractors in Savannah, Georgia we are thrilled that we had the opportunity to speak and share this fantastic organization’s story.
To begin with, we would like you to briefly tell us about your organization
Founded in January 2000, the House of Heroes™ is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving our nation’s military and public safety veterans (and their spouses) who are disabled, living on a fixed income, or facing other physical/financial challenges.
- What do you do exactly?
And what was the reason that encouraged you to start this organization?
Home repairs include, but are not limited to, cleaning, painting, installation of access ramps, installations of screen windows and doors, repair or replacement of basic appliances, and yard maintenance and improvement. Home improvements are supervised by a local contractor, and will meet applicable codes.
On October 12, 1999 Wayne conducted the funeral of Dennis Richardson, one of the beloved trustees of his church. It was during the playing of “Taps” and the 21 gun salute that a flame was lit. We should do something, we must do something to say, “Thank you”. We, as a nation, needed to say “Thank you” to those great Americans – many of whom never came home to a hero’s welcome. They were part of the occupying force in Europe and Asia. At the end of the Korean conflict, there were no cheering crowds when they returned home – only silence. And even worse, at the end of the Vietnam when they came home one by one, there were no cheering crowds – only jeering crowds.
On November 18, 1999 at the SHRM National Leadership Conference, the idea for House of Heroes was born. That idea was to honor these great Americans with something “personal and practical” – to take an idea similar to Habitat for Humanity and Christmas in April – and do something personal and practical for these great families. The idea was to enlist volunteers to do what these cherished people were having greater and greater difficulty doing for themselves, yard work and home repairs, to make their life better at the end of life because of what they had sacrificed to make our lives better throughout our lives.
- What motivates you?
Describe your mission passion
Wayne also realized that no one had said “Thank you” to their families. No one had said “Thank you” to the families who had moved around the world, across the country, some moving as much as every year of their lives. No one had said “Thank you” to the children being moved from school to school, constantly leaving friends and family. Indeed not only had the soldiers sacrificed immensely for your country, but their families had sacrificed, as well. We desperately needed, as a nation, to say “Thank you”. We needed to say “Thank you” while they were still alive before it was too late. And we needed to say “Thank you” in both words and deeds.
The mission of House of Heroes, Inc. is to recognize and honor military and public safety veterans and/or their spouses who have served our country faithfully and sacrificially. Through service to these veteran and their spouses, House of Heroes, Inc., volunteers attempt to express gratitude that can never adequately expressed in words alone by:
• Improving the living conditions of military and public safety veteran and/or their spouses who are in need of assistance in maintaining their homes.
• Honoring these American heroes through the generosity of individuals, civic organizations and corporations.
• Encouraging leadership and service, team building and volunteerism.
- Tell us about your goals
HOH, Inc.’s goal is to have organizations and individuals provide the funds necessary to do minor interior and exterior repairs, yard work, replace old appliances, and build access ramps. Volunteers would donate a day of their time. Companies could use this as a teambuilding project that would make a difference at the end of the day. While ropes courses have their value, most busy people, especially executives, want their time and effort to count to make a meaningful and measurable difference. House of Heroes, Inc. would link modern-day employees together as teams repair the inside and outside of the house of a person who had given the very best years of their life to give us the very best country on earth.
House of Heroes wants to able to say “THANK YOU” to both military and public safety veterans and/or their spouses for the sacrifices they have made to protect this Nation.
House of Heroes seeks to have a chapter in each of the 435 congressional districts.
- What was the hardest/toughest moment you had to deal with?
Obstacles you faced when dealing with bureaucracy, permits, funding, etc. Something you would like to point out to anyone who might be starting their own organization.
The hardest thing for House of Heroes is getting the word out about the organization, locating and obtaining corporate sponsorships, applying for and receiving grants, expansion of the organization, and locating people willing to help start and maintain a chapter in the area they live in.
- What was the most fulfilling moment that happened to you?
Our most fulfilling moment is every time we finish a house and honor these veterans the gratefulness they show toward us is remarkable. We love hearing the stories they tell about their experiences and being able to help them with home repairs to better their life. Our nations veterans are not honored how they should be, for they have saved and protected this country with their lives on the line everyday for years!
- What separates you from the rest? Why you?
House of Heroes is different from the rest of organizations like us because we not only complete the home repairs, we do not charge these veterans a dime to complete the work and we also honor them with a flag that has been flown over our nations capital for at least a day. We also spend time with these veterans to learn more about them and what their needs are and we strive to complete what we can in our home budget.
- Do you have any upcoming events in the forthcoming months?
House of Heroes has many upcoming events:
Metro Diner is hosting a Pre-opening Charity Event on Satuday January 13, 2018 from 8:30am-8pm
We are also hosting a shoe drive fundriaser that last all year, you can bring shoes in to our office or mail them
In the works we are planning a Concert for Spring/ Summer 2018
Also, a 2018 Golf Tournament TBA,
Following that we have our 3rd Annual Heroes on Wheels Motorcycle Charity ride coming October 13, 2018 more details to come
We are working to plan more National Fundraisers in the next year and will keep everyone up to date as more details arise.
- What is it that you love most about what you do?
This organizations is just all around wonderful! Our veterans deserve to be helped and honored and that is what we do. Seeing the reaction on the veterans faces when they see and experience House of Heroes in action is priceless! We get to encounter so many different lives but yet have one huge thing in common, they are all veterans and they have served this country faithfully and sacrificially. Hearing the stories these men and women tell about their lives in the military or as a public safety veterans are remarkable, some things you would thing only happen in movies and books but its truly real and they lived through it to tell the stories. It really is heart warming to be able to help these Men and Women.
- What is the biggest challenge you’re faced with today?
Our biggest challenge we face is the funding to accommodate our wait lists at our chapters across America. Some of our chapters have 40-50 veterans on a wait list per year. I know that doesn’t sound like much but to us it is as that is 40-50 veterans each year that are waiting for our help, that’s not including all the veterans we can not reach due to us not having a chapter in that area. There are millions of veterans that live in America and millions that need our help.
- Anything else you would like to add?
House of Heroes is a great organization but we need your help to help all of our veterans! Please make a donation or sign up to volunteer at a chapter near you.
Also if an individual or organization is interested in starting a chapter in your area feel free to email or call our office for more information.
Contact: How can people reach out to you?
Your organization’s name, phone, address, e-mail and links to your website and social media
House of Heroes Inc.
4709 Milgen Road
Columbus, GA 31907