HVAF of Indiana, Inc. competes for $250,000 in Home Depot Foundation Contest

This month HVAF of Indiana, Inc. is participating in a national competition that could earn us $25-thousand dollars to renovate a Newton House, a facility that is home to four previously homeless veterans. Sponsored by The Home Depot Foundation’s Aprons in Action, winning the monthly contest hosted on Facebook would make HVAF eligible to win a one-time grand prize award – an additional $250-thousand dollars to renovate even more of its properties!

The Home Depot Foundation’s Aprons in Action on Facebook spotlights the volunteer efforts of Home Depot employees and the local community organizations they partner with to serve U.S. military veterans and programs that support them. Fans of the work cast their votes for their favorite charity work each month.

“The Newton House is in need of updating and with the winning prize HVAF would be able to renovate the property that serves as many as four veterans, says Ron Shelly, HVAF Chief Operating Officer.  “That’s four people who bravely served our county who would have a new and up-to-date place to call home because of supporters like you.”

HVAF has been fortunate over the past four years to partner with Indianapolis-area Home Depot stores where employees have volunteered their time and talents to renovate several HVAF properties, including the LaFever House. Home Depot also awarded a grant to HVAF last year to install blinds, closet dividers and other fixtures at its newest housing property, the Manchester Apartments, which is home to 51 previously homeless veterans.

The chance to vote for HVAF of Indiana, Inc. begins 9 a.m. EST on Saturday, September 1 and ends at 12 p.m. EST on Sunday, September 30, 2012. You can vote once a day every day on Home Depot Foundation’s Facebook page.

“We are glad that our partner nonprofit organization, HVAF, will be participating in our company’s Aprons in Action program,” says Home Depot District Manager Bob Blake. “Only four organizations across the country have been selected to compete in the September, 2012, Facebook contest, and it gives us an opportunity to continue to showcase the good work that HVAF of Indiana, Inc. does on a daily basis in improving lives of veterans in Central Indiana.”

Here’s how it works:

Voting begins 9:00 a.m. Saturday, September 1 and ends at 12 p.m. Sunday, September 30 EST. Each person can vote once a day every day. You must have a Facebook account to vote. Go to Home Depot Foundation’s Facebook page.

1. “Like” the page
2. Click on “Aprons in Action” - top right icon next to the number of likes
3. Place your vote for HVAF of Indiana, Inc.


HVAF of Indiana, Inc. featured in United Way of Central Indiana simulcast

Ralph and his daughter Lakin with RTV6's camera crew
Ralph, a U.S. Air Force veteran who overcame substance abuse and homelessness and then regained custody of his young daughter, is an HVAF success story that will be featured at 7:30 p.m. on September 4 on RTV6 as part of United Way of Central Indiana's annual simulcast.

Ralph lists at least four United Way agencies that helped him: HVAF of Indiana, Inc. for basic needs, recovery, counseling and support; Goodwill Industries, for job training; Second Helpings, for meals while in recovery; and Child Advocates, for help regaining custody of his daughter. He admits there may be others in the background that he's simply not aware were at bat for him.

Ralph's story drives home the reality that people's troubles are more often complex than they are simple. And that means they can rarely be solved by one agency or one program. It's one of the reasons giving to United Way has such a deep and wide impact.

Of the 400 veterans who have come through HVAF's Residential Employment Substance Abuse Treatment program, 60 percent have either secured permanent housing or a job.

To see Ralph tell his own story, tune in to RTV6 at 7:30 p.m. on September 4. On that day in that half hour, all our local stations will air short stories about how anyone who gives to United Way is helping Ralph and thousands more turn their lives around.


FOX59 Interviews HVAF on Food Drive

On Tuesday FOX59's Ann Keil interviewed HVAF's President & CEO Dr. Charles Haenlein along with two HVAF veterans on the urgent need to re-stock the organization's food pantry. The food pantry is nearly empty, and the need among area veterans has been growing.

"My drinking and losing jobs got to the point where I started losing everything," says Tonny B., a previously homeless veteran who is now using HVAF's programs and services to get back on his feet. Tonny is one of hundreds of veterans who each month rely on HVAF's food pantry.

Watch the story below or read the transcript by clicking on this link to