Northern Nevada vets home benefits from project

Edward Walker, left, and Joe Keith prepare to load a storage cabinet on to a hand truck.

Edward Walker, left, and Joe Keith prepare to load a storage cabinet on to a hand truck.
Photo by Steve Ranson.

The military community joined hands last week to convert three small rooms into storage areas for arts and crafts at the Northern Nevada State Veterans Home in Sparks.

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

This isn’t the first time VVA 989 and Home Depot have been partners. Several months ago, the VVA chapter and volunteers from Home Depot partnered with the Army Guard Family Support Center Volunteers to box up Christmas decorations at the Veterans Guest House.

“VVA 989 has worked tirelessly with Home Depot on many projects, and we’re happy once again to be able to provide goods and services for the residents here at the home,” Stafford said. “Our partners at the Home Depot Foundation and local stores have been absolutely phenomenal filling request for goods and services.”

Stafford said VVA and the Home Deport Foundation coordinated a landscaping project in Gardnerville.

“They have a strong and vibrant set of volunteers within their corporation,” he said. “They are always happy to be involved with veterans’ projects.”

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

According to the Home Depot Foundation, “We've made a commitment to invest $500 million into veteran causes by 2025. Each day, we work toward that goal. From improving veteran homes and facilities to helping to end veteran homelessness, we work with dozens of national and local nonprofit partners to serve those who served us all.”

As for the latest project, Stafford said Home Depot volunteers were able to convert the three rooms with the storage units with the delivery and setup of the cabinets. According to the VVA president, the state veterans’ home was constructed with storage areas, but over the years, they have become more of a stopping place for other items.

Stafford said shelving installed in each storage area will neatly keep the art supplies in “an orderly fashion.”

Laura Peterson, associate support supervisor and community captain for Home Depot’s Northtowne store near McCarran Boulevard, said it was a pleasure partnering again with VVA 989. She was also involved with the project at the Veterans Guest House. Peterson agreed with Stafford that the storage rooms are “neater.”

“We have all three rooms organized in the same way to make it safer for the veterans who have wheelchairs or walkers that they’re using,” she said.

Once the idea to assist the NNSVH was formulated, Peterson said Home Depot began to select the type of furniture suitable for the storage areas and to match the wood in tone. Volunteers from Home Depot then delivered the items to be unloaded and wheeled to the storage areas.

“We do projects all the time through our different stores,” Peterson said. “We gather together to help on the projects.”

Peterson said volunteers came from several Home Depot stores in western Nevada including Carson City. Employees at the Elko store, however, concentrate their projects closer to home.

During the previous years except when the coronavirus pandemic restricted what Home Depot volunteers could do in the various communities, Peterson said projects were completed in their communities. Although the volunteers couldn’t work inside people’s houses, Peterson said the foundation still funded projects.

One of the last projects before COVID occurred in Fernley when Home Depot volunteers converged on Martin Harka’s home to paint, redo the lattice, fix the wheelchair ramp, hang a new screen door and perform light landscape. 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 with NDVS, said Home Depot has been a good partner. She added the project at the veterans home will enhance the activities in the craft rooms and make each wing feel like home.

“The foundation has been so generous,” Hendry said. “Even the employees from the Northtown location of Home Depot volunteer their hours to come here.”

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

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

Hendry said both the cities of Reno and Sparks as well as Washoe County have also embraced the NNSVH and the residents as their own.

“It’s nice to see,” she said.


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