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Operation United: Repairing homes, landscaping for local veterans

Hundreds of volunteers will spend the day improving the homes of 20 local veterans

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Heart of West Michigan United Way is bringing together hundreds of volunteers to make a difference in the lives of 20 local vets. 

This Friday, May 17 is Operation United. A one day event that mobilizes over 250 volunteers from Home Depot and deploy them to 26 homes throughout Kent County including Sparta, Rockford, Caledonia, Wyoming, Grand Rapids, and Walker.

Organizers say the day is meant to serve those who served our country and works to facilitate projects including stair and ramp building and repair, house painting, refuse removal, mulching, tree planting, and lawn mowing.

"This is the first year for the event and we hope to make it an annual event if we can get the support of local the community and local businesses," Volunteer Center Manager, Katelyn Kovalik said.

13 ON YOUR SIDE's Angela Cunningham caught up with one of the veterans, Celica Glynn who lives in Grand Rapids. She served in the Army and Air Force for more than 17 years. She left the service due to an injury and that same injury has made taking care of her home much more difficult than before. During Operation United, Glynn's home will be power washed, teams will remove fallen trees and replace a few boards on her deck.

This project is sponsored by The Home Depot and Team Depot.

"Veterans are such a big part of our company culture," Home Depot Store Manager Jana Vugteveen said. "We understand the importance of honoring and serving those who have served us all."

The Home Depot Foundation's 400,000 associate volunteers, a part of Team Depot, have impacted more than 41,000 homes and facilities for veterans in all 50 states. Since 2011, The Home Depot Foundation has donated over a quarter billion dollars to projects similar to these. In 2018, the foundation committed as additional $250 million to veteran causes.

For more information about Heart of West Michigan United Way and Operations United, click here. For information about Team Depot, click here.

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