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VAREP SA Donates Mortgage Free Home to Veteran Family

In anticipation of one day being able to participate in the “House A Vet” program and renovate an existing home to donate to a veteran, the San Antonio Chapter of the Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals (VAREP) began raising money last year to pay for the materials and necessary professional labor that would be required to successfully complete such a project. After recently receiving the house donated by Bank of America, and determining it was a job the chapter could expect to accomplish with the resources available, they began working at it and have been busy ever since.

While the local chapter was occupied with their part of the project, VAREP National received numerous applications from veterans in the local area and selected the family that would receive the completed house. Over the past six years, VAREP National has been able to make more than 25 similar donations to veteran families, working through local VAREP chapters in states across the country. While not privy to the location of the house the family did know they would be getting a place to live.

A call for volunteers went out to members and friends and approximately 30 responded to begin work on what is referred to as Demo Day (Demo meaning demolition) where all items and structures that must be replaced were permanently removed, including older appliances, carpets and other flooring materials. Also, many things like vent covers, light fixtures, electrical outlet covers, room fixtures, etc. were removed temporarily and trim and areas adjacent to the walls and doors were taped in preparation for interior painting. In this instance, the chapter purchased the interior paint but a VAREP member, owner of Five Star Painting, donated the labor to provide all interior painting on the day following Demo Day.

At the end of Demo Day much had been accomplished and plans were made for extensive landscaping and replacement of any interior and exterior parts that had been removed during Demo Day.  Ultimate Construction donated minor repairs to porch & driveway, Superior Water Softeners discounted a water softener & house filtration system and J Painting donated exterior paint.  And again, the call went out for volunteers and though there were fewer this time, the work continued as those present cleaned out windows and door frames, swept out any dirt, scraps and dust from the house interior and from the garage. Once all that had been accomplished the hired contractor, along with the volunteers painted the exterior of the house including all trim. Looking good now!

Since Donation Day had been scheduled for May 31, there were now just a few days left to complete the package. The Home Depot, a National VAREP Relationship, has been on hand for all the VAREP projects throughout the country, and San Antonio is no exception. Two days prior to the 31st a crew from Home Depot went to the house to determine what was left to be done and took care of anything and everything that was unfinished at that point. This included installation of a new sink to replace one that had been removed and the installation of all new kitchen appliances. Later the same day and into the next all new furniture, donated by Bank of America, was delivered and set into the proper places throughout the house.

On May 31, the family was driven to the house where they first learned of its location and the key to the house was presented to them by Bank of America along with members of the San Antonio Chapter of VAREP. They were then able to see and to appreciate the extent to which others were willing to help them have a house that would soon become their home!

In the next issue, we will provide pictures that capture the reactions of each family member as they walk through their fully furnished and fully renovated house for the first time.

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