Military families nationwide are being gifted thousands of dollars this holiday season to help with necessary home repairs.
As part of the Home Depot Foundation's annual Operation Surprise campaign, 10 families at 10 military bases across the nation will get $10,000 to help with critical home repairs and upgrades.
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The annual campaign, which kicked off on Veterans Day and lasts through the end of the year, aims to "provide life-changing moments of surprise and support for veterans and communities in need" through acts of service, according to The Home Depot Foundation.
Throughout the holiday season, Home Depot’s associate volunteer force – otherwise known as "Team Depot" – issues grants to local nonprofits in their community such as Habitat for Humanity that will help veterans with services such as critical home repairs.
As part of this Operation Surprise initiative, Habitat for Humanity is responsible for distributing the funds to each family. To date, six families have already been surprised.
One of them is a 12-year Army veteran named Preston who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
According to the foundation, Preston was paired with his service dog, Pilot, in September 2019 thanks to K9s for Warriors. As a result, he "has made remarkable improvements in his mental health recovery."
However, in October, Preston was also diagnosed with multiple myeloma, which is a blood cancer. A month later, he also developed thyroid cancer.
Preston spends a "great deal of his time trying to help his fellow veterans." However, officials at Habitat for Humanity realized that Preston needed a little help too.
His home needs a new deck due to safety concerns and the shower in his master bathroom needs grab bars and ADA-compliant access.
This initiative is part of the foundation’s longstanding commitment to veteran causes. For the past 10 years, the foundation has been focused on ending veteran homelessness, improving veteran housing through home repairs and building smart homes that are accessible for wounded veterans in partnership with the nation's leading veterans service organizations.
Earlier this year, the foundation announced that it already invested more than $400 million to improve the lives of veterans grappling with homelessness and service-related injuries.