Always thank the service of a United States Armed Forces veteran.

The Home Depot does it by offering a grant that make homes more accessible for veterans or their families. The store in St. Cloud works with the Osceola Council on Aging to identify local veterans, and the the Home Depot takes over, doing sight plans at the home and then bringing an all-volunteer work crew to, in the case of Mike and Carolyn Hansell, build a 31-foot ramp that would have cost them about $5000.00, clear away brush, plant beautiful landscaping and, in a tradition of these projects, install a flagpole with illumination and donate a new United States flag.

They work together to do enough of this that Hansell’s friends told them to reach out to the Council on Aging when he looked into installing a ramp onto he and his wife’s longtime Kissimmee home near Shingle Creek.

“We reached out to their Veteran’s Department. It took about eight months to get here, they have a back log, but it’s great,” Mike said. “I can’t believe what they’ve come in and done. They’ve raked up 12 bags of leaves, put in plants and red mulch, I can’t believe it and it’s a great job, I couldn’t be any happier.”

Said Carolyn: “It all looks so beautiful, and it’s going to be very helpful going up the ramp, because it’s hard for me to bend these days.”

The Home Depot offers the grant at the corporate level to help veterans remain independent and in their homes, and the Council on Aging coordinates with them to identify the veterans. From there, the St. Cloud Home Depot coordinates with its contractors and a fleet of volunteers to do the work. Contact the Council on Aging if you know of a veteran who can be helped through this program — but as Mike said, there is a wait list.

Thank you to the St. Cloud Home Depot and the Osceola Council on Aging for what you do to make a Positive Difference in Osceola County!