Hey all! I’m feeling a bit disconnected from the blogging world the past several days because my computer has been sick! But hubby got me all fixed up for now, so now I can finally tell you all about my trip to Detroit the week before last with The Home Depot! This was my first service project for their Celebration of Service event and I had a blast! I am really just so honored and humbled to be a part of it and to have this experience. Never in a million years would I think I would be a small part in something so huge and amazing!
Our first service project was for an amazing organization called Stiggy’s Dogs.
Stiggy’s Dogs was founded by Jennifer Petre who lost her nephew “Doc Stiggy” while he was serving our country. “Stiggy’s Dogs is a 501(c)(3) organization that rescues and trains shelter dogs to be psychiatric service dogs for military veterans living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”) or Traumatic Brain Injury (“TBI”). The psychiatric service dogs are trained and deployed at no cost to the veteran.” You would be amazed at all of the things we learned about that these trained dogs can do for their veterans. Things such as waking them up from terrible nightmares, to turning on and off the lights. They believe any dog can be trained, but not every dog will be a match for a particular veteran. That is why they take their time with the dogs and the veterans to make sure they will be a good fit for each other.
And I can’t believe I didn’t get one picture of any of the dogs that were on the property that day! But I did steal one from Ashley’s site…
This dog was named Barrett and that is his super sweet family. It was so touching to hear from the veteran’s wife and how Barrett, the service dog has changed their life in such a short amount of time. Barrett is trained to wake him up because he suffers from terrible nightmares from when he was in service. But now with Barrett, he is able to wake him up very quickly, and sometimes right before the nightmares begin. How incredible is that?
When we arrived at the Stiggy’s Dogs’ site, we weren’t the only ones there. Hundreds of volunteers had already been there working.
It was so awesome to first start out the morning though meeting the CEO of The Home Depot!
We had breakfast and a Q&A with CEO Frank Blake, and wow, what an amazing guy. He was seriously one of the most genuine and down to earth guys you’d ever meet. He was extremely funny too and really interested in this crazy blogging world and Pinterest! Ha! I still can’t believe I met him. I think I will wear my “Team Depot” shirt every time I go into Home Depot now. :)
After breakfast we headed down to the opening ceremony and it opened up with the National Anthem which already made me cry.
Image Via Gene Fleszar
Then Frank Blake presented a check to Stiggy’s Dogs from The Home Depot Foundation. Talk about a happy tear jerker!
The home of Stiggy’s Dogs is the owner’s childhood home and is being remodeled and revamped for the organization and the veterans. This is where the dogs will be trained, and a place where the veterans will come also. The entire house was being worked on that day–there was so much going on. We first worked on the flowerbeds and spreading out new mulch.
Then we just worked wherever else they needed help. We all did a lot in the garden cleaning it up to plant new things.
And here are some volunteers building a new fence.
We also learned a lot about energy savings. Volunteer projects also will include energy efficient upgrades to homes of individual veterans and facilities that serve them to help reduce utility bills. And I’ll have something fun for you all soon too regarding that!
It was great to see my blogging friends again too. :)
There were 11 other bloggers that went too and it was great to see/meet them! This is a group picture of all of us with the Stiggy’s Dog’s founder and team, and the PR girls for The Home Depot who are super sweet.
The bloggers were: Traci from Beneath My Heart, Dan from Military Avenue, Kris from The New Normal, Lori from Witty Little Secret, Trisha from 24/7 Moms, Stacy from Not Just a Housewife, Kierste from Brown Paper Packages, Diane from In My Own Style, Rachael from Lovely Crafty Home, Gail from My Repurposed Life and Ashley & Jamin from The Handmade Home.
It was an awesome day and I am so honored to be a part of it. I really do love The Home Depot even more after seeing what they stand for. They bring people together and are really making a difference and changing thousands of lives. The Stiggy’s Dogs service event was just one of many that are going on across the country. But I couldn’t think of a better event to participate in than one for Stiggy’s Dogs. They deserve it all so much. ”Rescuing One To Save Another.” Think on that a moment…I can’t wait to participate in another event!
Disclosure: The Home Depot partnered with bloggers such as me for their Celebration of Service Blog Network. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any product mentioned in these posts. The Home Depot believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.