Brad Brown, a 68-year-old Air Force Veteran in Frederick, has had two strokes with the second one in 2015 leaving him disabled on the right side of this body. He can walk with a cane but lives alone and is dependent on home care and transportation assistance.
Qualified Listeners learned about Brad through the Weld County Veteran Service Office. He was out of food and had a shower that needed to be replaced. “The shower in his home had a 7 ¾” lip making it difficult to hoist his right leg up that far to get into the shower. About a year ago he slipped getting in the shower and broke his back,” says Greg Goettsch, Founder and Executive Director of Qualified Listeners. “After listening to his needs, we took immediate action. We got him food, then contacted Firestone Home Depot Manager, Matt Lapp, to explain Brad’s situation.”
Matt assembled a team from his store for an on-site assessment of Brad’s house. The team discovered that not only did the shower need replaced, his bathroom toilet was too low for him to maneuver easily, the bathroom carpet needed to be replaced, the kitchen sink and faucet barely worked, the windows needed sealed and new window coverings, the entire house needed new smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and a new wall thermostat installed.
Qualified Listeners obtained a grant from the Home Depot Foundation for Brad’s home upgrade. “Since 2011 the Home Depot Foundation has transformed more than 40,000 homes and facilities for Veterans across the country and has committed one-half billion dollars to Veteran causes by 2025,” explains Matt. “More than 35,000 company associates have served in the military. Brad’s project was a great opportunity to serve a Veteran and I’m honored to help him with the transformation of his bathroom and other projects in his home.”
Matt arranged 14 Team Depot volunteers from north Denver to Firestone to work the project and most of it was done in one day. Larkridge Chick-fil-A provided lunch for all the workers. “Yes, we’re in and glad to do it,” was June Werner’s answer after being asked if they would donate lunch. “We love helping out in the community.”
With a project this size, a large dumpster is needed. Qualified Listeners contacted Rusty Ribble, Frederick Public Works Supervisor, to see if they could help. “All I heard was a Veteran in need”, says Rusty, “whatever it takes I know we can help and want to be a part of it.” Rusty coordinated with Waste Connections of Colorado to bring in a 20’ roll off at no charge and Public Works would pay for hauling it off.
When asked about his home upgrade, Brad’s comments were: “I can’t believe the help I’ve received from the community. Everyone has gone above and beyond my wildest expectations and I’ve made so many friends along the way. I’ve asked for help for two years, but Qualified Listeners stepped up and got things done in three months. This is very emotional for me.”
To learn “the rest of the story” go to www.QualifiedListeners.org/BradStory2018