Volunteers install cabinets for arts and crafts storage

Home Depot, Vietnam’s veterinary branch partner for the project at the Northern Nevada State Veterans Home

The military community joined hands recently to transform three small rooms into an arts and crafts repository at the Northern Nevada State Veterans Home (NNSVH) in Sparks.

The project, undertaken by Vietnam Veterans of America Sierra Nevada Chapter 989, the Nevada Department of Veterans Services and the Home Depot Foundation, provided a storage cabinet for each wing. VVA 989 President JR Stafford said the project was a plus for veterans, Home Depot and volunteers.

This is not the first time VVA 989 and Home Depot have become partners. A few months ago, VVA chapters and volunteers from Home Depot partnered with Army Escort Family Support Center Volunteers to pack up Christmas decorations at the Veterans Home.

“VVA 989 has worked tirelessly with Home Depot on many projects, and once again we are delighted to be able to provide goods and services to the residents of these homes,” said Stafford. “Our partners at the Home Depot Foundation and local stores have been absolutely phenomenal at meeting the demand for goods and services.”

Stafford said VVA and the Home Deport Foundation are coordinating the landscaping project in Gardnerville.

“They have a strong and passionate pool of volunteers within their company,” he says. “They are always happy to be involved with veteran projects.”

The Foundation’s mission is to ensure that every veteran has a safe place to call home. Accordingly, priority will be placed on voluntary projects that fit the following criteria.

According to the Home Depot Foundation, “We have made a commitment to invest $500 million into veterans’ activities by 2025. Every day, we work toward that goal. From repairing veterans’ homes and facilities to helping end veterans’ homelessness, we work with dozens of national and local nonprofit partners to serve those who serve us all.”

Volunteers from Home Depot will work on projects that serve veterans and their families. Previously, volunteers had repaired houses or repaired facilities such as the craft room at NNSVH.

For the latest project, Stafford says Home Depot volunteers were able to convert a three-room storage unit with shipping and cabinet installation. According to the VVA president, state veterans’ homes are built with storage areas, but over the years, they’ve become a rest stop for other items.

Stafford says shelving installed in each storage area will keep art supplies neat in an “organized way”.

Laura Peterson, associate support supervisor and community captain for the Northtowne Lane Home Depot store on McCarran Boulevard, said it was a pleasure to partner again with VVA 989. She is also involved with the project at the Veterans Guest House. Peterson agrees with Stafford that storage space is tidier.

“We set up all three rooms in the same way to make it safer for veterans who have wheelchairs or walkers they use,” he said.

Once the idea to help NNSVH was formulated, Peterson says Home Depot began selecting the right type of furniture for the storage area and matching the tone of the wood. Volunteers from Home Depot then deliver the items to be unloaded and taken to storage.

“We do projects all the time through our different stores,” says Peterson. “We came together to help with the project.”

Peterson said the volunteers came from several Home Depot stores in western Nevada including Carson City. However, employees at Elko’s shop concentrate their projects closer to home.

Over the past year, except for when the coronavirus pandemic limited what Home Depot volunteers could do in various communities, Peterson said projects were completed in their communities. Even though the volunteers can’t work in the residents’ homes, Peterson said the foundation continues to fund the project.

One of the last projects before COVID happened in Fernley when Home Depot volunteers gathered at Martin Harka’s Fernley home to paint, repair latticework, repair wheelchair ramps, hang new screen doors, and do some light landscaping. The Nevada Veterans Coalition, a Fernley organization heavily involved with the military community, recommended Harka to the Home Depot Foundation in 2019.

Terri Hendry, communications director for NDVS, said Home Depot had been a great partner. He added the project at the veterans home would increase activity in the craft room and make each wing feel like home.

“This foundation is very generous,” said Hendry. “Even the employees from the Home Depot Northtown location volunteer their time to come here.”

On another occasion at NNSVH, Hendry said Home Depot also installed planter boxes for veterans who like gardening.

“So many organizations have reached out to help us,” said Hendry citing veteran organizations, groups and individuals.

Hendry said both the cities of Reno and Sparks and Washoe District had also embraced NNSVH and its residents as their own.

“Nice to see,” he said.

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