CertainTeed Corp., along with employees from its Kansas City, Kan. insulation plant and professional partners are rolling up their sleeves to assist Homes for Our Troops (HFOT), a national, non-profit organization dedicated to building specially adapted, mortgage-free homes for severely injured Veterans. The latest team effort shows support and appreciation for a local Lee’s Summit, Mo. veteran.
North America’s manufacturer of building products and a dedicated partner of the organization since 2009, CertainTeed offers an extensive portfolio of roofing, insulation, drywall, siding, housewrap and trim for builds across the United States. CertainTeed’s involvement also extends to employees actively participating in HFOT local community events, as well as builder, distributor, and company contractor partners who assist with product delivery and installation.
Recently, due to the proximity to the company’s insulation manufacturing facility in Kansas City, Kan., local CertainTeed employees were able to do even more for Marine Sgt. Dustin Johns, taking action along with more than 150 people to assist with landscaping and other exterior beautification details during the Volunteer Day, held on Saturday, June 11. Several supporters, including long-time Kansas builder and HFOT partner Sallee Homes of Lee’s Summit, were also on hand when the home was officially presented to the Johns family during the formal Key Ceremony on Saturday, July 16.
A technician with the 2nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Company, Sgt. Johns was clearing an area of explosive hazards in Sangin Valley, Afghanistan on November 12, 2011 when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED). The blast resulted in the amputation of both legs and two fingers on his right hand.
He was fitted with prosthetics for both legs, but learning to walk again is only one challenge of day-to-day life. Sgt. Johns’ new, mortgage-free home provided by HFOT is specially designed to accommodate his needs and is a crucial step in helping his family rebuild their lives.
“When we heard about Homes for Our Troops building a home so near our largest insulation manufacturing facility, our staff, both at the corporate and local level, were excited at the chance to do even more than usual for the local hero,” said Greg Silvestri, president of CertainTeed Insulation. “Everyone who has touched this project, from our builder, distributor and contractor partners to the employees at the plant to our company sales territory managers, have expressed their overwhelming thankfulness for being able to step in, and also eagerness to participate in another build when the opportunity presents itself.”
In conjunction with CertainTeed, Insulate America, a cooperative of independent U.S. insulation contractors with approximately 200 locally owned locations and 5,000 employees, has participated in a number of builds since becoming involved with HFOT in the past few years.
“We do a significant amount of charitable work within the communities that we serve. Whether that’s a check, or with some hands on work. It’s even more rewarding when you come to the home that is being built for one of our Veterans to see the impact and the community coming together,” said David Beam, president of Insulate America. “It’s a small token of appreciation for their sacrifice and our freedom.”
This was the first time A+ Insulation, an Insulate America member contractor from Edwardsville, Kan., provided installation services for a HFOT build.
“I really had no idea the extreme lengths Homes for Our Troops goes through to personally customize each home to benefit the life of each deserving Veteran. It’s amazing,” said Mike O’Hara, president of A+ Insulation. “And CertainTeed Sales Territory Manager John Larkin was wonderful to work with, making it easy to complete the insulation installation on schedule.”
Since its founding in 2004, HFOT has built more than 220 mortgage-free, specially adapted energy-efficient homes for Veterans severely injured in combat after September 11, 2001. Each four-bedroom, two-bath home is Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant, complete with roll-in showers, roll-under cooktops and sinks, and other standard accessibility items. Construction of a home takes six to seven months, with the cost of each build averaging $430,000.
To learn more about CertainTeed’s Homes for Our Troops partnership, visit www.certainteed.com/followtheproject.