Specially adapted, mortgage-free homes are at the center of the Homes for Our Troops (HFOT) mission which is “To build and donate specially adapted custom homes nationwide for severely injured post-9/11 Veterans, to enable them to rebuild their lives.” Traditional homes that don’t accommodate wheelchair living are a constant frustration, limiting access and complicating “simple” everyday tasks like preparing meals, doing laundry, and showering. The HFOT homes with over 40 special adaptations help move a Veteran from dependency to life-changing independence, enabling them to take a more active role in caring for themselves and their families.
Budget Blinds supports Veterans
A long-time advocate of helping Veterans change their lives by becoming independent franchise business owners, Budget Blinds® became a corporate sponsor of HFOT in 2014, aligning with their mission as the sole window coverings provider for the homes they build. Supported by our manufacturing partner, Springs Window Fashions who donates the blinds, Budget Blinds franchise owners have been installing our exclusive Signature Series® faux wood blinds in each HFOT home around the country. Franchise owners Sue and Rudy Williams of Budget Blinds of Menifee, recently shared their thoughts with their first HFOT home, echoing what others have said over the years: “We are truly grateful to our company, Budget Blinds, and our partner, Springs Window Fashions, for allowing us to do our part in providing the window coverings for these deserving families.”
It has been an honor to be involved in over 150 HFOT homes, adding convenience, light and privacy control, energy efficiency, and long-lasting beauty for every family. Budget Blinds is proud to have a part in turning houses into life-changing homes where families can thrive!
“Home is where love resides, memories are created, friends always belong, and laughter never ends.” –Anonymous
Meet Army Sergeant Joshua Cope
The horror of 9/11 was the catalyst that drew Army Sergeant Joshua Cope to enlist to protect his country. On his second deployment in Iraq, in 2006, his lead vehicle in a convoy was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED) and he lost both legs above the knee and the use of his right hand. Instead of realizing his dream of a military career, he began an arduous physical and emotional recovery with two months of surgeries every other day and two years of treatments at San Diego Naval Hospital. Joshua shares, “What got me through was a Veteran who told me that any time you think it’s not worth it, look into a child’s eyes. I looked into my daughter’s eyes and I said I can make it for her.”
With three more children and wife, Claudia, Joshua is pursuing a career as a counselor and would like to start a nonprofit to support other Veterans. The specially adapted, mortgage-free home HFOT in Lake Panasoffkee, FL, keeps him close to family and gives him a sense of security for his future. Grateful to HFOT and its donors and supporters, he says, “Thank you for making a difference in the lives of Veterans and giving them hope in their new normal. It’s not like they give you a house and leave you alone, they actually call and check up on you and do follow-ups. HFOT has been there for me every step of the way. They just keep doing what they do and it’s amazing to me!”
Joshua adopted the sport of jiu-jitsu which proved to be therapeutic for his recovery as well as the springboard for an amazing experience. He appeared on the TNT behind-the-scenes TV show, Shaq Life, in a five-minute wrestling match with Shaquille O’Neal. Try to watch the match without standing and cheering: Shaquille O’Neal Gets Challenged To A BJJ Roll By Adaptive Grappler & Army Veteran
This is the first HFOT home for franchise owner Donna McDaniel of Budget Blinds of Lady Lake. She willingly donated time and expertise to measure for and professionally install custom faux wood blinds throughout the home for Joshua and his family. The classic window blinds will give many years of beauty and functionality, contributing to the safety and comfort of this special home.
Hear more of their story from Joshua and Claudia by clicking here.
Meet Army Specialist Andrew Pike
Army Specialist Andrew Pike played soldier as a child, watched war movies, and had an uncle and brother who served, so he knew that’s what he wanted to do. He deployed to Iraq in 2006 and, in early 2007, he was shot in the abdomen by a sniper. Army surgeon, Captain Yamamoto, saved his life, but told him he would be paralyzed from mid-chest down for the rest of his life. Andrew endured months of rehabilitation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center before returning home, his spirit undaunted. He was inspired by encouragement from a fellow Veteran—The day that any Veteran who’s been injured accepts what’s happened and is able to move on, life changes drastically from that moment.
The new HFOT home in Kuna, ID, will afford incredible benefits for Andrew, his wife, Becca, and their four children, including safety and accessibility. The over 40 special adaptations will allow him to move freely about the whole house in his wheelchair and he says, “This home is the pinnacle of freedom for me! It’s independence and not having to worry about day-to-day things around the house. Can I do this, can I reach that? I can concentrate on children and educations.” Taking care of his family was the main motivator to apply to HFOT and he’s excited about being able to watch his family grow and move on in life. He says, “There’s no way to truly measure what HFOT does and what it means. I would tell them that without them, none of it could happen.”
Andrew enjoys hunting, fishing, and archery, with a goal of competing in the Paralympics. He is a beekeeper and plans to expand that hobby with the extra space of the new home.
Quent Blodgett, franchise owner of Budget Blinds of Boise, stepped up with his team to install the window blinds for Andrew and his family. The first HFOT home for this Budget Blinds team, they accepted quickly when they learned a home was being built in their territory: “We are honored to participate. Thanks so much!” Approximately 13 windows were dressed, including in the garage and special motorized blinds in the master bath for additional ease and safety. You can view the Key Ceremony on Facebook, filmed live, Army SPC Andrew Pike Key Ceremony.
Hear Andrew and Becca share their story by clicking here.
Test your blinds IQ
Did you know that blinds can be customized to fit unusual window shapes such as arches? Or that they are available in wood, faux wood, vinyl, and aluminum in almost limitless textures and colors? Window blinds today can reflect any style from traditional to modern, with the option of motorization for hard-to-reach windows or where the safety of cordless window coverings is desired. If you’re craving a new look for your windows, custom blinds from Budget Blinds may provide the design enhancement you’ve been looking for.
Call 866-525-8054 today or go online at www.budgetblinds.com to find a Design Consultant near you and schedule a free, in-home or virtual* consultation to discover the ideal window blinds for your unique style and budget.
- Read the compelling interview with HFOT’s Chairman of the Board, Richard A. Cody, General USA, Retired, In the November Foundations newsletter.
- To make a donation to HFOT, visit We Proudly Support Our Troops.
*Virtual consultations may not be available at every location