NEW YORK , Nov. 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Building Homes for Heroes, a nonprofit that for 16 years gifted mortgage-free homes to military veterans and their families, announced today it is expanding its nationwide program to police, firefighters and other emergency first responders.
The move to support first responders was detailed by the Building Homes for Heroes' founder, New York businessman Andy Pujol, at the organization's annual gala at The View at the Battery, honoring FDNY Capt. Michael Alexander and the FDNY 343 Ride Team.
The mission expansion marks a milestone for Building Homes for Heroes, which recently celebrated its 300th home, going to a veteran in the Dallas area, and it remains on track to gift its 343rd home around Sept. 11, 2023, honoring the 343 members of the New York City Fire Department who died on 9/11.
"Our goal will always be to gift, modify and construct one home, every 11 days, on average," Pujol said. "We're focused on supporting those who've sacrificed so much to defend our freedom. That's the nation's veterans and now our heroic police officers, firefighters and other emergency first responders who proudly don their uniform and risk all to keep us safe. There's no more fitting way to make this announcement than alongside Captain Alexander and the FDNY 343 Ride Team here in New York."
The nonprofit, incorporated in New York, received approval from the state attorney general's Charities Bureau to begin fundraising for the program expansion.
Pujol, whose inspiration to start Building Homes for Heroes is rooted in his experience volunteering at Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks, said the courage and sacrifice of veterans is inspirational ? as has been the work and dedication by emergency first responders. Adding them to the program reflects the organization's commitment to honoring those who serve their country, he said.
As part of its campaign to gift modify and construct 11 homes in 11 weeks for the fifth consecutive year, Building Homes for Heroes gave a mortgage-free house Wednesday in Houston to retired Marine Cpl. John Garcia. He was medically discharged in 2013 due to combat-related injuries in Afghanistan when an IED exploded near his vehicle. He ) was detonated by the vehicle behind him. As his vehicle was moving up a slope, all inside felt the affects of the blast, leaving Corporal Garcia to become dazed after suffering a TBI. USMC Corporal Garcia suffers from PTSD, spine and cervical degenerative disc disease and other struggled.
On Friday, Veterans Day, the organization is gifting a home in Princeton, a small community northeast of Dallas, to retired Army Sgt. David Speights, who was medically discharged in 2011. Injured in Afghanistan from an RPG explosion, he suffers from PTSD, herniated discs and permanent nerve damage in his legs.
Also on Friday in Houston, the organization will unveil a renovation for the home of Navy Petty Officer 2nd class Anthony Thompson, who was injured in 2007 in Fallujah, Iraq, when an IED detonated under his post at a bridge. He suffered a severe traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury.
Building Homes for Heroes
Building Homes for Heroes builds and gifts mortgage-free homes, and completes home modifications, for veterans and their families, and provides further services on the road to recovery to help them live a promising and fulfilling life. The organization said 95.19% of every dollar donated in 2021 went directly to its mission, the 11th straight year reaching a program rating of at least 93%. It also received a perfect 4-star rating from Charity Navigator for seven straight years, including a 100% in transparency and accountability. See www.buildinghomesforheroes.org.
SOURCE Building Homes for Heroes