Disclaimer – This is a sponsored post brought to you by The Home Depot. All opinions are 100% my own.
I have the best job in the world. I really do. I love that I get to make spaces beautiful, talk about my kids, and work with some of THE best companies. Today I am really very excited about sharing this post with you because it brings together two of the things that we as a family deeply believe in….serving others and the power of DIY. Also it was basically a huge highlight of my year.
Okay, so let me start at the beginning. Many months ago, we were invited by the great folks at our favorite home improvement store to work with their volunteer army called The Home Depot Foundation. The Foundation helps honor and assist veterans…those people that put it all on the line for our freedom. I told you guys that we were looking for ways to help locally and when The Home Depot called, we couldn’t say “OH HECK YES WE ARE IN.” fast enough.
They told us that they were having a event with hundreds of their employees here in Georgia at a place called Camp Southern Ground. This camp is like no other…it’s a non-profit that serves children of military veterans as well as integrates typically developing kids with kids that have special needs and acts as a respite for active military families and veterans. It was started by Zac Brown and we were told that over 200 volunteers including some very honored veterans would be able to complete DIY projects to improve the camps – hauling, landscaping and even building two grow houses that will help prepare food from their organic garden. I told Jeremy that I didn’t care if I was in labor….we were going.
When we got there it was a HUGE group….all of us got our Home Depot shirts, joined the sea of orange and I was SHOCKED….the Zac Brown Band was ACTUALLY there. In front of us. In person. I figured it would be a video of the band and so I immediately geeked out. Like I may have embarrassed Jeremy. And all pregnant women everywhere.
We are big country music fans in the Bower house….I mean…we live in the Georgia country….what else are we gonna listen to?!
The Home Depot representative got up there – announced that this was a kick off for their Celebration of Service and then the band played The National Anthem! I was excited to build stuff and this was just the cherry on top. HOW IS THIS REAL LIFE GUYS!?
I may have cried when they brought up veteran Jack Lucas who was sporting his Navy hat adorned with the Korean War pin….my Pappap served there, and so this meant A LOT to me personally. It was like they were honoring all the good men and women who choose to give so much to our country.
OH THE HORMONES! I am crying again y’all. I feel like the joy in his face represents all the families out there who get so much from this place and this foundation!
So after the mini concert, we were called into action….everyone was assigned their particular group and Jeremy and I were ‘floaters’ going from group to group helping where we saw a need. Some groups were on landscaping duty and had a giant mulch pile to distribute…
Then we headed over to the ropes course where another team was building and landscaping.
Finally we headed to the gathering area where we got to really get our hands onto some tools!
Our job was to build these benches….so cute, right!?
Our heavy lifters were Jeremy and Adam (Jen’s husband who also happens to be active military!) and they were pumped that they had the opportunity to volunteer!
Nobody can question whether these dudes had fun and always make the atmosphere feel like a party 🙂
But look at the pretty finished product! These assembled benches were hauled off to different parts of the camp. I’m sure they will see their share of happy campers 🙂
I wasn’t able to push a wheelbarrow or carry a bench but you better believe I got in on the building action! Baby Girl Bower helped put a little more oomph behind the drill 🙂
I helped assemble benches and add finishing boards to some archery targets and I worked the shop vac like a pro. I was the happiest clean up crew of one you ever saw.
The building experience was extra special because I got to build with some of my favorite people! When you normally do DIY solo, this is such a treat!
These girls are so special to me! Rockstar builders and DIYers. So proud to be able to be with them for the event! If you don’t follow them they are Jamie from Rogue Engineer and Jen from House of Wood. Our entire group was them and their husbands as well as Brad from Fix This, Build That.
Once we were done, we were able to listen to Joey Jones – a veteran Marine who lost both his legs from an IED. He talked to the entire group while we ate and the thing that he drove home was a lot of times we are looking at a glass as either half empty or half full and that’s as far as we see. But the real way to think of life is not whether our outlook or our circumstances are positive or negative but what we are doing about it. Are we filling that glass? Or taking from it? It was so encouraging. So inspiring and so very true. I went to this event thinking that we would get to pour into others….but really I walked away feeling so full. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I know I will never forget it! And I challenge all of you to do the same…big or small…serving others is a great privilege….it can change your life and the life of others in such a profound way!
Interested in serving? Here are ways you can participate!
The Home Depot Foundation would love for you to participate in helping those in need! Right now there are signups for future Celebration of Service events all over the country. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO. And in addition to their efforts to help veterans, The Home Depot is helping with the conditions in response to the recent hurricanes. They have already committed $1M to Harvey relief efforts and Team Depot is going to be mobilizing crews to hold events just like the one we participated in to help the folks in the Texas communities affected by the storms. If you are one of my fellow Atlanta friends – they are holding their next Celebration of Service event at Camp Southern Ground again! Here is the link. And make sure you tag #choosetoserve and #teamdepot if you take photos of your event! That way I can see you guys in action!
I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in this Foundation Program (the “Program”). As a part of the Program, I am receiving compensation in the form of products and services, for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.