May 13, 2013 [WEWS]
SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio – The community came together in South Euclid Monday to help a veteran and his wife. The Building Better Neighborhoods project started with the donation of the two-year vacant home from the Cuyahoga County Land Bank. Petitti Garden Centers donated all the plants, trees and flowers to make the home just as vibrant as every other one on the block, as communities rebuild one home at a time.
“It is truly a blessing.” said soon-to-be homeowner Amber Taylor. She can’t wait to move into her new home with her husband, Demond Taylor, who served in the Army and is an Iraqi war veteran.
Like hundreds of thousands of other veterans, Demond returned home with service-related injuries.
“He has post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a traumatic brain injury, as well as he has some hearing loss,” Taylor explained, adding her husband lost a lot fighting for our freedom. That’s why Purple Heart Homes is giving back.
“They endured pain and struggle helping us. Our mission is to make them feel welcome at home,” said Regional Director for Great Lakes Purple Heart Homes Howard Goldberg. “We are totally renovating the home we are putting an addition on the back. We are adding a second bath upstairs to make it a modern home inside out.”
The outside was the focus Monday. Petitti Garden Centers dropped off a truckload of plants, shrubs and flowers to bring new life to the home and South Euclid neighborhood.
Volunteers from Hands on Northeast Ohio and Lincoln-West High School donated their time to plant.
“It’s great giving back to others. It’s showing that you care,” said student Samantha Lugo.
“This man put his life on the line to protect our country, and I would like to give back,” said Robert Conway.
The volunteers reflect the true American spirit giving back to a true American hero.
While the outside looks beautiful, thanks to the donation from Petitti Garden Centers, there is still a lot of work to be done on the inside.
Purple Heart Homes is looking for volunteers to donate heating and cooling supplies so this family can move in this July. By the time the project is done, $60,000 to $70,000 in renovations will be done.
Once in the home, the family plans to give back to the community by raising foster children.