Generations of Generosity: Association of Fundraising Professionals Arkansas Chapter Honorees
By Jillian McGehee | Photography by Sara Reeves
With a civic commitment to improving the lives of veterans and their families, Home Depot partners with local organizations throughout the country that complement this mission. “We wanted to make a direct impact in our communities, so we focus our financial and volunteer resources to help nonprofit organizations that are dedicated to improving the homes of economically disadvantaged veterans,” says April Ostie, Conway Home Depot store manager. For its generosity, Home Depot is being honored as Outstanding Foundation.
Arkansas Enterprises for the Developmentally Disabled is a beneficiary of the Home Depot Framing Hope Project. Local stores contribute up to $5,000 per month in product and building materials for AEDD, notes April. AEDD Executive Director Georganna Huddleston says, “It has been an honor to partner with Home Depot and they should be commended for their philanthropic works not only locally, but throughout the world.”
Millions of dollars are granted each year to nonprofit partners in Home Depot communities that provide programs and services to veterans – reducing homelessness, creating housing for the nation’s most critically wounded veterans and ensuring that all veterans have a safe place to call home, April says. “Too many of our veterans and their families face major housing challenges, aggravated by issues like unemployment and service-related disabilities.”
Making a difference through simply sharing resources and time – improving the lives of those “who have already given so much for our country” – is incredibly rewarding, April says, noting that 35,000 veterans work for Home Depot.
More than 250,000 veterans live in Arkansas, April says, and many face homelessness, poverty and food insecurity. “Many of these veterans are responsible for caring for their families, and the number of homeless veterans and families has increased in Arkansas over the past five years. On any given night as many as 4,200 people in Arkansas have no place to call home.”
Team Depot, the company’s associate-led volunteer force, works with local nonprofit organizations to complete projects for aging, combat-wounded and homeless veterans. The Home Depot Foundation has pledged a quarter of a billion dollars to veteran-related causes by 2020.
The local Team Depot recently completed a project at the American Legion Post 74 in North Little Rock. “We were able to secure a $10,000 grant and had more than 40 Team Depot associates volunteer to repaint the outside and the inside of the post, remodel the bathroom, install new fans and lighting, move and rebuild two interior rooms and redo the floor. It was an awesome experience for us as well as the members of Legion 74.”
Philosophy to live by:
“Measure twice, cut once.”
For “a company that allows its associates and leaders to demonstrate the values that our company was founded on. The Home Depot truly empowers the stores to give back and make true and lasting impact in their communities.”
“Tzedaka (charity) is part of our livelihood. This is how I grew up and why I feel good about myself when I do good helping other people.” – Home Depot Founder Bernie Marcus