Home Depot Volunteers Build Houses for Veterans

Some 100 volunteers from Home Depot spent Thursday painting walls inside the complex at 232 Arch Street in New Britain, which will soon house up to 20 veterans in need.

"We've been doing it ever since the store opened 35 years ago when Home Depot first started," said Ed Boice, manager of the West Hartford Home Depot, "and all these people here today are volunteering on their days off, and it's just a great feeling."

The woman overseeing the project for Veterans Inc., Brenda Heller, said the volunteers "absolutely" sped things up.

"The time, money, and effort that we would have had to spend to make that happen is fast forwarded into one day by 100 orange shirts and volunteers from the Veterans Inc. side, Home Depot, and even GE volunteers came out today, so it's an incredible day of collaboration," she explained.

One carpenter, Patrick Wheeler, said he was giving back to Veterans Inc. as a way of saying "thank you" for what it's given him.

"I stay at Veterans Inc. in Worcester, for right now," he said. "My business crashed, I had some tragedy in my life, homeless, actually, and Veterans Inc. kind of took me in."

Veterans Inc. will take in up to 20 additional veterans in New Britain on May 1 if work continues as scheduled.

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