The Final Wrap-Up of the Veteran Sanders Project
American Culture Council, Inc and The Home Depot Store help a Veteran’s home –
Donna Woodrum, Pres., and Doug Bennett, a Pro Volunteer at the Pro-Desk of Santee Home Depot, take on several projects for Lakeside, CA Veteran, Damien Sanders and his
IT’S IMPORTANT TO GIVE CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS
HERE ARE THE NAMES OF ALL INVOLVED IN THIS TERRIFIC PROJECT:
DOUG BENNETT - Home Depot Pro, Santee Home Depot Store
NICK EWING-PISTELAK - Son-in-law of Doug Bennett
DON LINDSAY - Independent master mason/all-around handyman
ANTHONY PORRELLO - Excellent Photographer, who took all the pictures for this project
WILL SPENCER - Extraordinary Plumber/Electrician
DONNA WOODRUM - Nonprofit Partner of The Home Depot
WOODY WOODRUM - Husband of Donna for 38 years
And the Veteran and His wife, without whom we would have had nothing to do on Saturday, May
31, 2014 –
Stay tuned for the next projects to get underway at the home Of Veteran Damien
You can be a part of this terrific project by donating your best $5.00 donation, or whatever you can afford. Be sure to specify "Sanders Project" and all your donations will go to the expenses of the
Sanders' family renovations.
See the story below ~~
California Senator JOEL ANDERSON presents a
Certificate of Outstanding Community Service
AMERICAN CULTURE COUNCIL, Inc.
Woody and Donna Woodrum, President, American Culture Council, Inc.
Senator Anderson, thank you for your continued service to your constituents. And we of American Culture Council
thank you for recognizing us with this wonderful Certificate.
May 31, 2014 - The Home Depot Store in the form of Doug Bennett, Pro Desk Pro of the Santee Home Depot Store, Donna
Woodrum, President of American Culture Council, Inc. , and a number of skilled Volunteers descended on this Lakeside, CA Veteran’s home. Project Celebration of Service was underway!
Bright and early, we started our 1st project - to tear out and replace their back steps, leading to their living room. The steps were a hazard. They weren’t set on any
foundation, nor anchored to the mobile home in any way. They were rickety, old, and rotten – not the best-looking steps, either.
After a few hefty blows with a sledge and a lot of prying, the steps broke into pieces. Doug and the other Volunteers proceeded to tear the steps, landing, and metal railings
down. All the scraps were placed in a trailer to be hauled off to a recycling center – the rest would be dumped appropriately.
There is no fun like demolition!
Then construction fun began – building a new landing with a foundation; constructing the stairs, and adding the railings.
Built of sturdy redwood (ants and termites hate redwood), in another 6 hours, the new, very sturdy steps stood like a sentinel at the side of their mobile home.
There was still some finishing work to do – the railings had to be ordered and installed at a later date. Some temporary railings were constructed in the meantime, adding
stability and safety to the new stairs and landing. The mobile home now has a beautiful new and safe set of steps.
This is a good thing, because our next projects involve re-tiling their entryway, and installing a new door to their regular entrance. The door will also be re-hinged, so it
can open from the opposite direction.
The current door is very old and awkwardly placed. Steps lead up to this door, but the door opens onto the steps, instead of opening away from the steps. Entry into the home
now is quite awkward, requiring some deft foot-work to go up the steps, reach up and open the door, while stepping down a couple steps as the door swings out over the steps toward the person opening
the door. As said: awkward.
But once the new mobile home door is hinged on the other side and the entry repaired to accept the new hinges (with the old hinge site re-worked), the entry will be smooth
and normal. And the new door will look beautiful! It’ll also open onto a newly-tiled entry into the home.
The homeowner and I, Donna, headed to the Santee Home Depot while the Volunteers worked on the back steps and picked out the tile, backerboard, grout and thinset – all the
materials to re-tile their entry.
She also picked out the microwave and hood (a micro-hood), which would be installed that day. A volunteer electrician was on the site, specifically so he could re-wire the
mobile home as needed and install the microwave over her present range.
The Santee Home Depot Store had some beautiful and functional choices to choose from.
This is a great space-saving idea in a mobile home. Counter space in a tiny walk-through kitchen is at a premium – so anything that can be hung vertically in this kitchen
would be much more useful to the homeowners, and frees up valuable counter real estate in the kitchen.
Her present small microwave, a gift from a friend, took up the entire counter. It also caused the electricity to shut off while in operation. Rather than try to fix that problem,
the electrician agreed that the micro-hood was a great solution and he was happy to install it for them.
Surprisingly, the mobile home did not need any extra or changed wiring to accept the microwave/hood appliance. With just a few shims and some other electrician secrets, the
microwave/hood was installed and the family enjoyed it that evening. The electricity never wavered during its use. Another problem solved.
During our wonderful day with the Veteran, his wife, and their 2 sons, I noticed that they had 2 very old barbecue grills. Commenting on the condition of the grills, I asked
the wife if she would like to retire her old grill with a new one. She said that although one grill didn’t even work anymore, they could make the other “do”.
I said that if the grill is still operational, why not donate it to someone and pick out a new grill. She said she’d think about it, and I tucked the idea away in the back of my
mind - but I did mention it to Doug.
Doug Bennett called me about the end of June, and said that the Home Depot was having a sale on barbecues - did I want to donate one to the Lakeside Veteran’s family? I
asked him if the wife had agreed to a new grill, and he indicated she did. Happily, I authorized Doug to take the money from the grant account set up for this Veteran’s project.
In time for the Independence Day celebrations, Doug said he called them, told them what was up. That day they came into the store and chose the grill they wanted! I jumped
for joy when Doug let me know: Mission Barbecue Grill - accomplished!
Thank you, Home Depot Foundation! Do you know how happy you’ve made this Veteran and his family? Well, let me tell you – I’ve NEVER seen them so happy!
July 17, 2014 – Troy Hamilton, Doug Bennett’s boss at the Santee Home Depot Store contacted me recently and
updated me on our next project at the Lakeside Veteran’s home.
All the ordered materials are in. The Store and American Culture Council, are now gathering about 15 carpenters to descend on this home around the middle of August and take 2
days to finish the work.
They’ll be changing out exterior panels on the mobile home itself; and tearing out the entire railing system of this beautiful deck that wraps around the front of their home,
and replacing the railings with some beefier supports. Some of the floor boards need to be changed out also.
And that gorgeous new front door needs to be installed and the hinges changed to the other side so it opens properly.
These actions will complete our work on this Veteran’s home. What a wonderful family, and how gracious they’ve been to accommodate all our mess and noise and intrusion as we do the
work on their home that they said they needed done.
Even with these projects finished, we still owe a debt of gratitude to this Veteran for his service to our nation. He did not get out of the military unscathed, and still receives
treatment for conditions suffered during his time in the military. Even so, he pitched in to work with the volunteers.
We thank you, Veterans, all of you who so valiantly served our nation – even though you all say it was your honor to serve – it’s our honor to thank you by helping refurbish your
And thank you, Home Depot Stores and Home Depot Foundation! Without you, we would NEVER have gotten any of this work done for a very worthy Veteran homeowner and his family.