Since 2004, Homes for Our Troops (HFOT) has been building specially-adapted, mortgage-free homes for Post-9/11 veterans who are the most severely injured in combat, sustaining injuries such as multiple limb amputations, partial or full paralysis and severe traumatic brain injury. In 2014, Budget Blinds® partnered with HFOT, and along with our long-time manufacturing partner, Springs Window Fashions®, Budget Blinds has supplied faux wood blinds from our Signature Series® product line for 89 of the 213 homes that HFOT has built across the country to date.
The philosophy behind awarding specially-adapted homes is that safe and secure homes are central to helping severely injured veterans rebuild their lives by giving back their freedom and independence.
- This means providing full access to all living spaces, so each home has over 40 major adaptations that are ADA compliant (Americans With Disabilities Act), including such features as wider halls and doorways, automatic door openers, roll-under sinks, stove tops and counters, pull-down shelving and roll-in shower with digital temperature control.
- Mortgage-free homes allow veterans to focus on recovery instead of paying a mortgage.
- Veterans can raise their families, finish college and begin careers as engineers, law enforcement agents, nonprofit executives, business owners or artists … fulfilling their dreams.
- Many HFOT home recipients become advocates for fellow veterans by working with other VA support organizations, promoting awareness of HFOT as speakers, volunteers and staff members, or starting a unique ministry for veterans.
Meet Steve Baskis, future HFOT home recipient
In 2008, Army Specialist Steve Baskis lost his eyesight when an explosively formed penetrator (EFP) detonated next to his vehicle. He also suffered traumatic brain injury and damage to his left arm. Despite the severity of his injuries, his spirit is not dampened. He spends much of his time outdoors skiing, kayaking, cycling and mountaineering. He also plays drums, guitar and other instruments, firmly believing that “moving is living.” This mindset drove him to establish the Blind Endeavors Foundation, dedicated to challenging and inspiring people of all abilities to explore new ways of living through movement. “Blindness is a lifelong challenge. Stare into the darkness and you will never find your way, but if you explore through the darkness, you’re bound to stumble upon a great adventure,” he says.
At a recent event in Golden, Colorado, at the foot of Lookout Mountain, Steve shared his story and passion for the future. Jamie Montell, franchise owner of Budget Blinds of Littleton, attended. A veteran himself, U.S. Navy and Army National Guard, he was interested in a fellow veteran’s experiences. Jamie left the event “totally impressed” with Steve and his Blind Endeavors Foundation.
“I believe that lots of times things happen to people for a reason. Steve has taken his crisis and figured it out, he’s an amazing lad. It’s like someone needed to do these things, and he’s the one. It’s the perfect part of the country for his goals and what he’s trying to do, getting people who normally wouldn’t get out and do things to get moving. He gives a tremendous amount of healing; it’s recuperative for those who have lost their body’s abilities, rebuilding themselves from the inside out. Blind Endeavors Foundation creates an environment where people can find themselves and become part of what’s going on in the world, and enjoy.” –Jamie Montell
Steve will be receiving a new specially-adapted HFOT home in the near future and he is excited at the prospect of a home adapted to his needs. He aspires to serving his country again in the 2018 Paralympics in the biathlon and this home will provide a foundation and stability so he can focus on sports training. “[Homes for Our Troops] and its faithful donors change lives every year. It is because of you that I can enjoy life more completely. A home is a foundation and corner stone from which dreams and adventures can spring.”
Budget Blinds honors veterans
On Memorial Day, we honor the courageous men and women in every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces who died protecting and defending our liberties. Our grateful nation also gives thanks to veterans and active service members who continue to protect our freedoms that are unequaled anywhere in the world.
For Budget Blinds, providing custom faux wood blinds in the homes is a way to say “thank you for your service and sacrifice,” and to make a meaningful contribution to the beauty and functionality of each veteran’s home. Springs Window Fashions provides the blinds and local Budget Blinds’ franchise owners donate their time and expertise to measure and install the blinds, giving complete light and privacy control as well as improved energy efficiency for enhanced living comfort and minimized expense.
If you would like to update your own home with easy-care faux wood blinds or other decorative window coverings, Budget Blinds has an extensive line of window treatments including shutters, shades and drapes that offer benefits beyond beauty, including energy efficiency, motorization, and child-safe options. Call 866-879-9730 to schedule a free, in-home consultation or go online at www.budgetblinds.com to find a Style Consultant near you.
To learn more about Budget Blinds’ partnership with Homes for Our Troops or to make a donation, go to We Proudly Support Our Troops.