From the F.L.O.W Website: “Michelle Gordon, Realtor in Grand Rapids, Michigan, works with many low to moderate income home buyers. Due to current market conditions, there are many affordable homes.
When checking on her clients after they have bought their home, there was one common response.
“I love my new home, I have cleaned up, painted and moved in. However the yard needs some work and this is very expensive!” Most of these homes have been vacant for a long time and the yards have gotten out of control. Trying to “fix” the yard takes expertise, money and time.
So Michelle called Jason Haywood with Signature Outdoor Concepts asking for split plant’s of his past clients. Jason did one better- and volunteered to landscape 3 yards for free!
The effect this had on the new home owners was over whelming, but the effect it had on the community and the volunteers was much more then expected.
The volunteers had so much fun and felt very good about a hard days work. The neighbors had joined in, by “fixing” their own yards.”
On January 6th, 2007 Cpl Joshua Hoffman was on patrol in the streets of Fallujah, Iraq when a man with a rocket propelled grenade appeared in his line of sight. The insurgent ran off, forcing Josh’s group of Marines to follow and capture him. It was a standard, by the book procedure that they followed effortlessly. Josh was assigned to lead the group of men on foot. One shot rang-out, the men yelled “take cover!”, and everyone dove to the ground. His men got up to make sure everyone was okay – but one man did not. Josh lay face-down in Iraqi soil, unable to move, until his Navy Corpsmen came to his aid. His men frantically did everything they could to keep everyone safe while trying to save his life, and it worked.
As a valued employee of Signature, it was Josh’s plan was to return to work after his 7-month deployment. However, the situation he was thrust in while in Iraq made him physically unable to. While volunteering to serve on his 3rd tour of duty as a Marine reservist, he was severely injured from a sniper’s shot during a routine patrol. He was instantly paralyzed from the shoulders down and subsequently had many other medical setbacks. Josh spent 14 months in hospitals, hundreds of miles away from home where he developed pneumonia 5 times, fears of meningitis, and complete kidney failure. He had to rely on a ventilator for months and still relies on his tracheotomy and oxygen to breathe. But, he fights on. He has made huge steps to begin relearning his speech and regaining some movement.
Homes For Our Troops- along with support from the community- was be able to give Josh a tremendous gift to help aid in his recovery and allow him as much independence as possible. Ground was broken in Mid-August, 2008 on specialized home that was built to assist Josh with his numerous medical and physical needs. Every aspect of the home was taken care of by supportive community members, including our role at Signature Outdoor Concepts for the landscape design and full construction. We were able to give Josh his wish list of a beautiful outdoor space, large flowing paver patio, built in Barbeque, Firepit, and rock water feature. Underground Sprinkling and Sod rounded out this project for this most deserving person, who gave nearly all he had for our freedom.
To learn more or donate to this great organization please visit www.homesforourtroops.org