Budget Blinds Blog

Supporting Veterans and Their Families this Christmas

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Budget Blinds and Homes for Our Troops Support Veterans and Their Families this Christmas

In November, Budget Blinds® partnered with Homes for Our Troops (HFOT), a privately-funded non-profit organization that builds specially adapted homes for severely wounded veterans. For 10 years, HFOT has been building homes across the country around the unique needs of veterans, accommodating loss of limbs and mobility, restoring independence and freedom of movement, to make home a safe and comfortable place to recover and rebuild their lives.

Budget Blinds has a long corporate history of supporting U.S. veterans and is proud to become an official supplier of HFOT who will be providing mortgage-free homes to those who have sacrificed so much for the freedoms we enjoy each day. Budget Blinds, in collaboration with our long-standing manufacturing partner, Springs Window Fashions, is committed to providing faux wood blinds from our Signature Series® product line into 120 homes over the next three years.

Faux wood blinds were chosen for the homes because they are very versatile and appropriate for any area of the country. They give an elegant look that is universally stylish and compatible with any décor.

 

  • They provide insulation and energy efficiency.
  • They offer light and privacy control.
  • They can be enhanced with additional window treatments like valances or drapery.
  • They can equally withstand dry or wet climates as they are moisture resistant.
  • Faux wood blinds are easy to operate, easy to clean with soap and water and beautiful for years to come.
  • They can be motorized providing one-touch control for added convenience, and cordless for child safety.

Homes for the Holidays Celebration

2014 marks the third annual HFOT Homes for the Holidays celebration to get 10 veterans and their families moved into new homes between November 8th and December 20th, just in time for the holidays. Budget Blinds’ nationwide network of independent franchise business owners donate their time and expertise, measuring and installing the window coverings in each home. Even with the busy-ness of the holidays, Budget Blinds franchisees are happy to participate in HFOT’s Homes for the Holidays celebration.

  • Scott Spielberger, franchise owner of Budget Blinds serving Memphis shares, “When I was requested by corporate to be involved in this project, I was extremely happy and 100% willing. I greatly applaud corporate for coming up with such a great opportunity for us to help the veterans.” (More from Scott in Cpl Jacob Romo’s story below.)
  • For Carolyn Tricoli, franchise owner of Budget Blinds serving Clearwater, this opportunity served two of our military at the same time. One of the HFOT veteran’s homes was originally intended to be serviced by Budget Blinds serving Seminole, but the franchise owner, Tommy Fisher, was recently called to active duty himself. Carolyn has stepped up to do the measuring and installation and is maintaining the Fishers’ territory in his absence so, “he [has] a business to come home to [with] his reputation of great service intact.” Her generosity touches the lives of veterans and active military alike. (More from Carolyn in Sgt Thongdeng’s story below.)

Homes for Our Troops is fortunate to have the support of patriotic businesses like Budget Blinds to help us in our mission of building specially adapted homes for our nation’s veterans. Having partnerships like this is crucial in allowing us to return the gift of freedom and independence that these heroes fought so bravely to protect.” --Major General (USA, Retired) Timothy P. McHale –President/CEO of Homes for Our Troops

Meet Cpl Jacob Romo of Somerville, TN

Jacob RomoMarine Corporal Jacob Romo was on a first deployment to Afghanistan in 2011, on patrol in farm country when he stepped on a buried IED. Retaining consciousness, he knew immediately that both his legs were gone. His comrades performed life-saving measures and got him airlifted to safety. His multiple injuries, including severe head injuries, necessitated treatment at The Balboa Naval Medical Center in San Diego for over two years before he could return home to Tennessee with his wife and two young sons.

Jacob attends Whitten Memorial Baptist Church and is affiliated with the Association of Defensive Shooting Instructors, Krav Maga Worldwide, and Dojo of the Four Winds (an ancient Martial Arts study). He and his wife, Michelle, renewed their wedding vows the same day of the Key Ceremony, December 6th, when they received their home. Jacob has a mentor’s heart and looks forward to opening their new home to fellow veterans. “We are so grateful for this opportunity. I am a big believer in self-empowerment and investing in people. This home will allow us the means to ‘pay it forward’ to other service members as well as those in our community; we will be able to more effectively help more people in the future. Thank you.” Click here to hear Cpl Romo and Michelle share their experience.

Sgt Thongpane Thongdeng of Largo, FL

Sgt Thongdeng Army Sergeant “TD” Thongdeng paid the ultimate price when he deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 and sustained life-threatening injuries when his jeep stuck an IED, resulting in loss of his right leg and paralysis. As he and his family worked through his recovery challenges and rebuilding their lives, he lost the battle and passed away on June 30, 2014, before his home was completed. HFOT will honor the commitment to Sgt Thongdeng by presenting the home to his family in a private Key Ceremony. Carolyn Tricoli shares, “I am very proud and honored to have the opportunity to install blinds for Sgt Thongdeng's family.  My prayers go out to his family and hope that they enjoy every moment on his behalf in their new home.”  

Sgt Thongdeng was faithful to attend Groundbreaking and Key Ceremonies for other HFOT veterans in the Tampa area, sharing their joy at receiving new homes. Friends say he was looking forward to living in a barrier-free environment where he could live independently and comfortably.  HFOT offers a goodbye salute: “TD was a valued member of the HFOT Family, and we will miss him greatly.”

A Tribute to All Veterans

Scott Spielberger attended the Key Ceremony on December 6, 2014, when Cpl Romo received his new home, and was privileged to speak. What Scott shared is a beautiful tribute to all veterans and sums up the Budget Blinds corporate philosophy of supporting our military veterans any way we can:

“It’s not every day that you get to be in the presence of a true hero. Corporal Jacob Romo put this country—you, me, and our way of life--before himself when he traveled to Afghanistan. We are forever grateful for his tremendous sacrifice. I am proud to be part of Budget Blinds commitment to U.S. military veterans and the Homes for Our Troops program which helps restore the freedom and independence of veterans like Corporal Romo. My brother is in a wheelchair and I know, through him, just how important a home like this can be. We are thrilled to provide the window treatments for this beautiful home and just to get the chance to give back to this true American hero. Corporal Romo, we hope you and your family enjoy each moment spent together in this new home and that you make incredible memories here in the years to come. Thank you for everything.”

To date, HFOT has placed 174 families into homes in 38 states, with 54 current projects underway. Visit their website to learn more about how you can get involved. To volunteer with Homes for Our Troops and find a project in your area, click here.

If you want to reinvent your space in the New Year by enhancing your windows with new window treatments including blinds, shades, shutters and drapes, call 866-590-6341 today to schedule a free, in-home consultation or go online at www.budgetblinds.com to find a Style Consultant near you. 

Unveiling a New Home for Combat Wounded Veteran

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BUDGET BLINDS PARTNERS WITH HOMES FOR OUR TROOPS TO PROVIDE SPECIALLY ADDAPTED HOME FOR LOCAL MURRIETA VETERAN

MURRIETA, CABudget Blinds, a custom window coverings franchise, has partnered with national non-profit, Homes for Our Troops (HFOT), to provide the window coverings for a specially adapted, mortgage-free home that has been built for Marine Corporal Carlos Garcia and his family. The Murrieta home was designed to restore the freedom and independence that Marine Corporal Garcia sacrificed while serving our nation and to enable him to focus on family and recovery.

A key ceremony will take place at the completed home, located at 28400 Mary Place, Murrieta, Calif. at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, December 16 where Corporal Garcia and his family will receive the keys to their new home. This home marks a special milestone for the Budget Blinds as it launches its official partnership with HFOT through a signing ceremony during the home’s big reveal. Co-Founder of Budget Blinds, Todd Jackson, along with additional members of the corporate team, will be in attendance to welcome Garcia and his family into their new home.

As a part of the national partnership, Budget Blinds will provide window coverings in every specially adapted home built by HFOT over the next three years. Budget Blinds along with its manufacturing partner, Springs Window Fashions, will raise a total of one million dollars for HFOT through product donations and cash contributions. In May of 2015 Budget Blinds will launch a “Month of Giving Back” sale event where a percentage of proceeds will go directly to this initiative.

“The Budget Blinds organization is extremely honored and inspired by the Homes for Our Troops mission and to help make a difference in the lives of Veterans,” says Todd Jackson, Chief Operating Officer at Home Franchise Concepts.  “We hope Marine Corporal Garcia and his family will enjoy the beauty, convenience and energy efficiency of these new window coverings for many years to come.”

“Homes for Our Troops is fortunate to have the support of patriotic businesses like Budget Blinds to help us in our mission of building specially adapted homes for our nation’s Veterans,” says Major General (USA, Retired) Timothy P. McHale –President/CEO of Homes for Our Troops. “Having partnerships like this is crucial in allowing us to return the gift of freedom and independence that these Heroes fought so bravely to protect.”

Home Franchise Concepts (HFC), parent company of Budget Blinds, has a rich history of supporting U.S. military veterans. In 2013, HFC launched an initiative called the Million Dollar Franchise Event (MDFE), which is a commitment to provide one million dollars in discounts to U.S. Veterans interested in purchasing one of the company’s franchise brands. The MDFE helps Veterans become entrepreneurs and achieve their American dream of independent business ownership. Veterans can begin learning more about this unique opportunity and explore the application process by visiting www.BB4Vets.com or www.TL4Vets.com.

About Budget Blinds

Budget Blinds was founded in 1992 and currently boasts over 900 franchise territories serving more than 7,500 cities throughout the United States and Canada. The company offers customers a full line of quality window coverings including shutters, shades, blinds, draperies and window film. It also provides free in-home consultations as well as complete measuring and installation services. Budget Blinds has been recognized as a leader in the franchise industry by organizations such as Entrepreneur, AllBusiness, Inc. and Franchise Business Review. With a strong vendor alliance program and growing product portfolio, Budget Blinds is the clear franchising leader in the multi-billion dollar window coverings market. For more information on Budget Blinds, visit www.budgetblinds.com or connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/budgetblinds. For franchise opportunities, please visit www.budget-blinds-franchise.com.

About Homes for Our Troops

Homes for Our Troops (HFOT) is a privately funded 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization building specially adapted, mortgage-free homes nationwide for the most severely injured Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. Most of these Veterans are multiple amputees, paraplegic, quadriplegic, or have suffered severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).  These homes restore some of the freedom and independence the Veterans lost defending ours, and enable them to focus on their family, recovery, and re-building their lives. Since its inception in 2004, over 90 percent of donations to Homes for Our Troops has gone to directly support Veterans.  Visit hfotusa.org

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Homes for Our Troops Brings Veterans Home for the Holidays

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Budget Blinds and Homes for Our Troops Brings Veterans Home for the Holidays

Only a few weeks to go before Homes for Our Troops’ (HFOT) third annual “Homes for the Holidays” celebrations end. This year’s goal was to get 10 severely wounded veterans and their families into new homes just in time for Christmas! By the end of December, Budget Blinds® will have contributed to 11 exciting home comings!

For over 10 years, Homes For Our Troops has been building specially adapted homes for severely wounded veterans who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a non-profit organization, HFOT depends on corporate partners like Budget Blinds to provide product, labor and contributions so mortgage-free homes can be given to veterans, enabling them to focus on recovery and rebuilding their lives.

It’s a Family Affair

HFOT has perfected the process of getting the homes built and gifted to deserving veterans. However, this hinges on the support and commitment of thousands of people who are willing to participate in their mission. At Budget Blinds, from our founders to our individually owned and operated franchises, support for our veterans is foundational to our corporate culture. Our involvement with HFOT rests firmly on:

 

  • Generous franchise owners who provide expert measuring and professional installation services for the homes
  • Budget Blinds owners and employees participation in local Volunteer Days across the country
  • Taking part in Key Ceremonies where the homes are presented to the veterans
  • Collaboration with our manufacturing partner, Springs Window Fashions , supporting our commitment to donate faux wood blinds from our Signature Series® product line into 120 homes over the next three years

Our founders, employees, franchisees and selected vendor partner wholly support HFOT, making it truly a Budget Blinds family affair.

Chad Hallock, CEO and co-founder of Budget Blinds says, “We are excited about helping to get these families settled into their new homes for Christmas, and proud to support our veterans in this way. We share a strong commitment to supporting veterans who have served our country. Many of our founders have personal connections to the U.S. Armed Forces as do a number of our franchisees across the country. It is our hope that the synergies between Budget blinds and Homes for Our Troops will continue to honor returning soldiers for years to come.”

Marine Sergeant Robert Bruce
In 2011 in Afghanistan, while going to the aid of a fellow Marine who had been injured by an IED, Sergeant Bruce triggered another IED and was injured as well. Both men were evacuated to safety, but Sgt Bruce lost both his legs below the knees and, after multiple surgeries, continues in recovery. He and wife, Megan, received their new home on November 15, 2014, and they are looking forward to a home where he can live more independently. Sgt Bruce shares: “The floor plan itself is very spacious, plenty of room for wheel chair operation. All the appliances in the kitchen are arranged to coincide with wheel chair access. One of the biggest things that has surprised me is just how much support is out there. We volunteered to go do what we were going to do; we don’t really expect a whole lot. We don’t like to be the center of attention…or ask for handouts, but for the support to come out and, ‘Hey, we’re going to do this for you,’ it’s very relieving, very satisfying.”

Sgt Bruce likes hosting BBQs (his new backyard will be perfect!), camping, movies and video games. An NRA member and instructor, he’d like to be employed as a firearms and small unit tactics instructor for a government agency. Going back to school is also in his future plans. Click here to listen to Sgt Bruce and Megan share their story.  

Steve Glaza, franchise owner of Budget Blinds serving Mesa, AZ, participated in both the Volunteer Day in October and the Key Ceremony on the 15th. He shares:  "I had a son that served in the Marines so my family is familiar with the sacrifice that is required to protect our country. To be able to assist HFOT with this effort was an honor.

Budget Blinds Mesa

Hundreds of volunteers, including Budget Blinds serving Mesa, AZ, contributed to the landscaping.

Faux Wood Blinds AZ

Faux wood blinds control light and privacy while protecting from the hot Arizona sun

Marine Corporal Justin Crabbe

Corporal Justin Crabbe was on patrol when he stepped on an IED in Afghanistan, in August 2011. As life-saving measures were being administered, he made a friend promise to call his mom and give a message that he was sorry and that he loved her and the whole family. The blast temporarily deadened his hearing and except for the promise he had extracted from his friend, he has no memory of the three weeks following the accident until he woke up in Bethesda Naval Medical Center in Maryland. For weeks in ICU, he hung between life and death. Cpl Crabbe lost both his legs above the knees and suffered damage to his left hand. 

Cpl Crabbe

Key Ceremony Proceedings: Cpl Crabbe meets Budget Blinds franchise owners Brian and Bonnie English; Cpl Crabbe cutting the yellow ribbon to enter his new home, speeches of welcome and thanks; Budget Blinds is on hand to welcome Cpl Crabbe home

Cpl Crabbe received his home in a November 16th key Ceremony and was gracious in his thanks to HFOT and its sponsors like Budget Blinds: “Having an organization that actually puts itself aside and looks out for the veteran—that’s top dollar in my book. This organization is amazing. Somebody that’s going to build a house for somebody and just give them the key...it’s mind blowing!” He shares that this specially adapted home will enable him to “live a normal, productive life without feeling like I am handicapped or disabled.” Presently a family of one, he sees himself getting married and sharing his life with someone. Hear him tell his story by clicking here

Brian and Bonnie English, franchise owners of Budget Blinds serving Yucaipa, CA, did the measuring and installation of the faux wood blinds in Cpl Crabbe’s home and attended the Key Ceremony festivities:  “We’re so grateful for the service and sacrifice of our military men and women and are honored to give a small portion of our time to make their lives easier.”

To date, HFOT has placed 173 families into homes in 39 states, with 55 current projects underway. Visit their website to learn more about how you can get involved in honoring returning veterans in your area.

If you would like to update your own home with stylish window coverings including blinds, shutters, shades, drapery and more, Budget Blinds can help you design exactly what you need to enhance your lifestyle and specialty needs. Call 866-590-6341 today to schedule a free, in-home consultation or go online at www.budgetblinds.com to find a Style Consultant near you. 

Update Window Coverings to Maximize Home Market Value

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Updating Window Coverings is Vital to Maximizing a Home’s Market Value on Buying and Selling with the Property Brothers

 Are you starting to feel the squeeze at home? Even if you love your house, with too much clutter and diminished personal space you may find yourself becoming more and more impatient with its shortcomings. How do you know when it’s time to move? Here are some signs that you truly need a new home with more space and not just better organization:

 

  • New family members--babies or move-in relatives
  • Not enough bedrooms when sharing no longer works (kids grow up and want more privacy)
  • Too crowded to entertain; “standing room only” is impractical and uncomfortable
  • Not enough storage for life’s treasures; you’re paying for rented storage space
  • Bathroom congestion causes stress and being late to work and school
  • Kitchen/ family room/ backyard are too small for your family’s needs
  • You dream about a home office, not just a computer on the dining room table

So, the move is on and you need to get your house ready to sell. Hot spots in the housing market are updated kitchens, quality flooring, closet/storage organization systems, modern bathrooms and impressive windows.

Budget Blinds® knows the real value that stylish, attractive window coverings can add to a home in today’s market. Custom window treatments give any home an immediate refresh. Partnering with HGTV’s top home improvement series, Buying and Selling with the Property Brothers, Budget Blinds helps 10 families make the move this season by installing new faux wood blinds and drapes as part of the renovations.

“That’s Where We Come In”

“Everyone wants to sell their home for top dollar so they can afford that perfect family home, so that’s where we come in.” –Drew Scott

Jonathan and Drew Scott, the Property Brothers, are the perfect team. Jonathan is the contractor, and while he’s knocking down walls and laying new flooring, realtor Drew manages the selling and buying for both the existing and the new home. Convincing the homeowner to spend money to get their home “top dollar market ready” can sometimes be challenging. Homeowners are generally shocked at their home’s “as-is” market value, and Drew emphasizes the necessity of renovation and artistic staging for a quick sale, “I wish buyers had imagination coming into a space… but we have to paint the picture for them.”

Once everyone is on board to spend a little to get a whole lot back, it takes about two weeks to get the house on the market and another week to sell. For homeowners who listed on their own and have been unsuccessful month after month, it’s an exhilarating high to post the SOLD sign and finally start packing!

Beauty and Value Attract Buyers

Eric and Misty are no strangers to renovations, and Eric’s DIY tendencies have left their home with half-finished projects everywhere. With three girls and another on the way, they need a much larger home, but this one will not sell as it is now. Jonathan has a huge task finishing all the renovations and updating the house while Drew takes Eric and Misty through the process of agreeing on priorities and finding a property that they both love. Budget Blinds transformed the kitchen and master bedroom by installing chic window coverings. Faux wood blinds gave the kitchen a fresh, contemporary look, and the master bedroom became an elegant, restful haven with floor-length coordinating drapes layered over faux wood blinds in Milk White. See the total renovation on Pinterest by clicking here.

Faux Wood Blinds Property Brothers

Classically sleek faux wood blinds provide light and privacy control in any room

Newlyweds Chris and Mayra need a larger home for their blended family. In addition to plenty of shared family space, both kids and adults want some personal space: Chris wants a man cave, Mayra wants a tranquil retreat and the boys want a big yard. Already on the market, the house is not getting any nibbles so Jonathan goes to work obliterating the bachelor-pad ambiance and turning it into a desirable family home. Budget Blinds coordinated the dining room and living room with faux wood blinds and trendy, floor-length sheer champagne drapery panels on all four windows. Kitchen and bathroom windows received a clean new look with moisture-resistant faux wood blinds. See the complete renovation on Pinterest by clicking here.

The added value of the new window coverings helped pave the way to quick sales for these two families. Alex Cobb, franchise owner of Budget Blinds serving Woodstock, measured and installed the window treatments provided by Springs Window Fashions, a long-time vendor partner of Budget Blinds.

If you’d like a “new home feel” without the hassle and expense of moving, Budget Blinds can certainly help! With over 20 years’ experience and unlimited design possibilities, if you can imagine it, we can create the perfect custom window coverings to take your windows from mediocre to marvelous! Options include:

Call 866-590-6341 today to schedule a free, in-home consultation or go online at www.budgetblinds.com to find a Style Consultant near you. Make your house feel more like home; you deserve it!

Check your local TV listings for Buying and Selling with the Property Brothersso you don’t miss a minute of the fun, and you’ll pick up some fashion-forward decorating tips as well.

Budget Blinds and Homes for Our Troops Move Veterans Into New Homes for the Holidays

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Budget Blinds and Homes For Our Troops Move Veterans Into New Homes for the Holidays

This holiday season, Budget Blinds® begins a new venture in helping U.S. military veterans by partnering with the non-profit, national organization Homes For Our Troops (HFOT). For 10 years, HFOT has been dedicated to building brand new, specially-adapted homes for post-9/11 veterans. These custom-tailored homes allow them to live more independently as they and their families rebuild lives shattered by the devastating injuries these veterans received while serving their county.

The loss of limbs and other injuries present everyday challenges that most of us cannot begin to comprehend. For example, imagine if just brushing your teeth was a major undertaking; how frustrating would that be? HFOT builds each home around the unique needs of each veteran, enabling them to experience day-to-day living in an environment that again makes all of life possible. In a recent interview while touring his new home, Sgt Sweeney was asked, “Do you cook?” Surveying the custom kitchen, he replied with a big smile, “I do now!” (Read the rest of his story below.)

HFOT depends on numerous partners like Budget Blinds and Budget Blinds’ trusted vendor partner, Springs Window Fashions, for products and donations to keep the project funded so each home is presented, mortgage-free, to the veteran. Budget Blinds is honored to install faux wood blinds in 120 homes over the next three years, with 11 families placed by year end as part of HFOT’s 2014 Home for the Holidays campaign. Here are two of their stories.

Marine Sgt Joshua Sweeney

Sgt Sweeny Sgt Sweeney has spent the last five years in a wheelchair since the loss of his legs and other injuries he suffered due to a bomb blast in Afghanistan in 2009. He has had over a dozen surgeries and continues recovery treatments on an out-patient basis. But even in light of so many new challenges, his spirit is undaunted.

  • He joined the U.S. National Sled Hockey team and scored the winning goal that won the gold in the Paralympics in Sochi.
  • He plays recreational wheelchair basketball and regularly visits the gym.
  • He’s planning on getting an Engineering degree.
  • Wants to start a sled hockey program where he lives in Oregon.
  • He and his wife, Amber, plan to raise a family in their new home.

His optimism is inspiring:  “Living in a regular apartment presents many challenges that frustrate me on a daily basis. With a home, specially-adapted to meet my needs, I know my life will immediately become less stressful and I will feel more capable of doing the things I want to do in my own home. Receiving a gift of this magnitude is something I could never have asked for or even imagined. Receiving this house will lift a huge weight from me…knowing that my family will always have a place to lay their heads and a place to call home will be incredible. Thank you.”

You can “visit” Sgt Sweeney on the HFOT website by clicking here and watch a video as he tells his own story. You can also see a video news clip of Sgt Sweeney’s “Key Ceremony,” (receiving his new home) by clicking here for FOX 12 Oregon. You can’t miss Budget Blinds franchisee, Colin Gagne, in the red shirt, who installed the blinds.

Marine Cpl Jon Schumacher

Sgt Schumacher Cpl Jon Schumacher continued alerting other Marines about dangerous areas even as he was being aided after stepping on a buried IED in Afghanistan in 2011. In hindsight, he no doubt saved others from harm although he lost both legs, part of his left hand and suffered lung damage. Despite the ongoing recovery he deals with daily, he has continued to build a full life with his wife, Courtney, and two young sons, Ethan and Easton. He’s very involved in sports, coaching baseball and football. He is pursuing an Engineering degree to secure a strong future for his family.

Schumacher shared how he anticipates this new home will enrich their lives:  “This home will allow me to be a father, husband, and better family man. Without this specially adapted home from Homes for Our Troops I would not be able to help my wife with the raising and daily care of our family. Thank you for helping me live more independently and as an active, involved member of my family.”

We met Cpl Schumacher at the Volunteer Day for a fellow veteran just the day after his family had moved into their home. True to his expectations of getting to be a more involved dad, he says, “For the first time in years I was able to tuck my son into bed last night.”

Corporal Schumacher

Cpl Schumacher and his son at Volunteer Day for fellow veteran, Cpl Carlos Garcia

Click here to watch a video of Cpl Schumacher as he tells the story of witnessing his youngest son’s birth while still in hospital recovery.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9n-KgmGNcs  video URL

Our Nationwide Network of Dedicated Franchisees

Homes For Our Troops builds houses all across the nation, accommodating as best they can where each returning veteran desires to live. Budget Blinds has franchisees in all 50 states, positioning us to be able to assist with building the HFOT homes as local franchisees volunteer their time and expertise to measure, design and install new faux wood blinds in each house.

  • Colin Gagne of Budget Blinds serving Hillsboro, OR, installed Sgt Sweeney’s blinds, and participated in Volunteer Day (landscaping goes in) and the Key Ceremony when Sgt Sweeney took possession of the home. Gagne shares, “When I was asked to participate in the HFOT program there was no way I could say no. I'm not from a military family, but I do have a great appreciation for our freedom and those who have sacrificed to preserve it. I attended both the Volunteer Day and the Key Ceremony… and I was honored to have the opportunity to meet Sgt Sweeney. The Key Ceremony was made even more special by the fact that it fell on Veterans Day. [It was] a great show of people who have the same appreciation for the hard work and sacrifice of Sgt Sweeney and all of our troops.”
  • Tony Richerson, franchise owner of Budget Blinds serving Temecula, CA, gladly installed the blinds for Cpl Schumacher’s home: "With a few of my family members still deployed I understand the sacrifices these men and women make to protect our freedom. Any opportunity to show support and gratitude to them is an honor." 

Homes for Our Troops is fortunate to have the support of patriotic businesses like Budget Blinds to help us in our mission of building specially adapted homes for our nation’s veterans. Having partnerships like this is crucial in allowing us to return the gift of freedom and independence that these heroes fought so bravely to protect.” --Major General (USA, Retired) Timothy P. McHale –President/CEO of Homes for Our Troops

To date, Homes for Our Troops has moved 173 veterans and their families into completed homes in 39 states, and there are 48 projects currently underway. Click here to learn more about how you can become involved with helping veterans rebuild their lives.

HFOT Blinds

Milk White Faux wood blinds installed in Cpl Schumacher’s home frame a view of the backyard

Part of a comfortable home is attractive and functional window coverings. Budget Blinds offers an extensive line of window treatments including shutters, shades, blinds and drapes that offer benefits beyond beauty: energy efficiency, motorization, eco-friendly and child safety. There’s still time to freshen up your home for the holidays or plan for a New Year with updated, stylish windows. Make that resolution now, and call 866-590-6341 for a FREE, in-home consultation or go online to www.budgetblinds.com to find the Style Consultant near you. Download the 2014 Design Guide to dream, design and be inspired!

Budget Blinds Corporate Staff Partners with Homes for Our Troops

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Budget Blinds Corporate Staff Participate in Volunteer Day for Homes For Our Troops

Homes for Our Troops

Saturday, November 15, 2014 was an eye-opening day for many Budget Blinds® Corporate staff who participated in a Homes For Our Troops (HFOT) Volunteer Day for the first time. Upon arrival at the home site, there were two distinct first impressions:

  • The extremely diverse crowd (249 volunteers) from young children to seniors
  • The aroma of mountains of compost and mulch…

Volunteer Day is a tangible way to say THANK YOU to our U.S. veterans who fought and sacrificed to protect the freedoms we enjoy each day.  Volunteer Day is the second major milestone in the process of placing a severely-wounded veteran and his or her family into a new home, specially adapted to meet their unique needs. Homes For Our Troops has been building homes for 10 years and has the process down to a science, as you’ll see.

The Urgent Need

Many veterans are returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan with life-altering injuries. The Veteran’s Administration estimates that over 1,900 veterans have suffered injuries such as loss of one or more limbs, varying levels of paralysis, traumatic brain injury, blindness, deafness and severe burns. They are faced with having to relearn skills we take for granted: walking, getting dressed, eating, working and playing. Some are confined to a wheelchair, some use prosthetics to replace lost limbs. Home is no longer a place of comfort, but room after room is filled with barriers that make simple tasks difficult or even impossible.

Each new home is built to accommodate the veteran’s unique situation, and possible home adaptations include open floor plans, keyless entry, roll-in showers, roll-under cook tops, sinks and counters, touchless faucets, pull-down shelving, easy-care window coverings, lift systems, and voice activation controls. Homes are built far beyond the demands of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) to ensure maximum comfort and mobility for each veteran.

HFOT believes that these American heroes need and deserve specially adapted homes that allow them to regain their independence. Budget Blinds is one of many corporate sponsors that strongly agrees and by contributing products, labor and donations to HFOT, this vitally important mission can continue to grow, year after year. Budget Blinds, in collaboration with Springs Window Fashions, is committed to placing faux wood blinds from our Signature Series® brand into 120 homes over the next three years, starting with 11 in 2014 as part of HFOT’s Home for the Holidays campaign.

“Many Hands Make Light Work”

HFOT’s enduring strength is in the network of thousands of individuals, foundations, corporate sponsors and professional tradespeople who donate time, money and products so all homes built can be passed, mortgage-free, to each veteran.

Homes for Our Troops Corporate Staff

Many hands accomplished an amazing amount of work in a very short time

At the start of a new build, HFOT works to rally the local community that the veteran will call home, and create support and excitement for the project, including lining up the Budget Blinds franchisee in the area. Through phone calling, emails and radio campaigns people come forward, out of patriotism, pride and gratitude, to sign on and the team emerges that will support the process from Groundbreaking to final Key Ceremony. The milestones are:

  • Groundbreaking:  This is the introduction into the new community with HFOT representatives and the key individuals that enable putting shovel to dirt and getting the official building underway. Locals learn more about HFOT, the veteran who will become their neighbor, and ways they can become involved.
  • Volunteer Day:  It takes about five months from groundbreaking to move in. As the home nears completion, HFOT schedules the Volunteer Day when volunteers come together to complete the landscaping, do any other necessary tasks like assemble a swing set, and meet the veteran and his or her family.
  • Key Ceremony:  This is the day the family gets to move into their new home. There is a “formal” key presentation, cutting a yellow ribbon allowing access to the home, and the veteran proudly raises the American flag in the front yard to cheers and tears.

Experiencing Volunteer Day

Volunteer Day was in Murrieta, CA, landscaping the home for Cpl Carlos Garcia. Cpl Garcia lost both his legs in Afghanistan in 2010 in an IED blast. Upon arrival at the house, we joined other excited groups of volunteers, including American Legion Riders, HFOT veterans and family members, The Patriot Tigers (a local high school group), church groups, a Sheriff’s Office team,  neighbors, BJ’s Restaurant and other corporate sponsors. There was a noticeable number of fellow veterans who, like Garcia, had lost limbs and were there to offer help and support.

A flag-flying motorcycle motorcade heralded the arrival of Cpl Garcia and he was greeted with applause and cheers. He and his family were all smiles as they were introduced to the crowd and shook hands with many of the volunteers standing close by.

Homes for Our Troops Corporal Garcia

After instructions for planting, it was gloves on, shovels and rakes up and the work began!

  • Patches of sod were carried assembly-line style and placed together like a giant puzzle
  • Pickaxe-swinging volunteers dug holes for flowers and trees, planting teams finished up
  • Little children worked alongside parents, getting hands, feet and clothes dirty
  • 20-30-40-somethings and seniors were planting, raking, carrying sod, mulch, compost and water
  • The activity gave the impression of a bustling anthill

Miraculously, within two hours, the job was completed. Front and back yards were completely landscaped, watered, trees staked, sidewalks cleared and the mountains of mulch were evenly spread. It was a beautiful sight to behold!

Homes for Our Troops After Photo 

It was a moving experience for all our attendees and they shared their impressions of the day:

  • “It’s overwhelming to see everyone come out from different backgrounds and communities to help one person; all banding together.”
  • “I feel inspired. So many people coming together; it’s cool.”
  •  “I had such a fun time and I can’t wait to do it again.”
  • “It feels wonderful. [Budget Blinds] did a job to fulfill needs of people who sacrificed for this country. As a participant, I feel like I did something for the country too.”
  • “The day was a great success…a heartfelt and humbling experience.”
  • “I’m fulfilled. It made me get into the holiday spirit a little more.”
  • “An incredible outpouring of support from fellow wounded veterans.”
  • “It’s awesome!”

Volunteers were rewarded with gourmet sandwiches, pasta salad, fruit, homemade cookies and gracious words from Cpl Garcia: “Thank you for coming, it means so much. We’re happy to be part of a community. I hope you’ll come back on [December] 16th for a tour when the house is completed. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. My family really appreciates this.”

Homes for Our Troops Budget Blinds

Cpl Garcia and his family will have their Key Ceremony on December 16 and be in their new home in time for Christmas. They’ll have another new addition as well—“baby” Garcia is due around the first week in December, just in time to move into the new house with his dad, mom and big sister.

The Budget Blinds Commitment to Veterans

Franchise owner Tony Richerson of Budget Blinds serving Temecula, CA, personifies the Budget Blinds commitment to our veterans and will be installing the faux wood blinds just before the move in. This is Tony’s second HFOT home in Murrieta and he shares, “With a few of my family members still deployed, I understand the sacrifices these men and women make to protect our freedom. Any opportunity to show support and gratitude to them is an honor."

Budget Blinds, its parent company, Home Franchise Concepts, and sister company, Tailored Living®, continue to have an active role in support of veterans. From home improvement shows like George to the Rescue helping to furnish homes for veterans in need, the 2013 Million Dollar Franchise Event assisting veterans to become franchise business owners, and now our newest partnership with HFOT, Budget Blinds expands its commitment to honor our country’s veterans with special thanks for their sacrifice and service.

Homes for Our Troops Todd

Todd Jackson, his son, and national League of Young Men members take a photo op moment with the Garcia family. 

“Homes For Our Troops perfectly aligns with Budget Blinds’ commitment to honor U.S. military veterans. We are proud to make this contribution to returning soldiers and their families, and to also have our Budget Blinds family be part of the actual building process,” says Todd Jackson, COO at Home Franchise Concepts.

To learn more about Budget Blinds window coverings, including shutters, shades, blinds and drapes go to www.budgetblinds.com to find a Style Consultant near you. Call 866-590-6341 today to schedule a free, in-home consultation and see how stylish new window treatments can enhance your lifestyle. 

To volunteer with Homes For Our Troops and find a project in your area, click here.

Home Franchise Concepts Brands Outfit Home with Window Coverings and Organizational Solutions

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BUDGET BLINDS & TAILORED LIVING PARTNER WITH HGTV’S PROPERTY BROTHERS ON VEGAS HOME

ORANGE, CA—Budget Blinds® and Tailored Living®, two national Home Franchise Concepts® brands, have partnered with HGTV’s Property Brothers, to provide custom window coverings and organizational solutions for their Las Vegas home. Property Brothers at Home is a new show in HGTV’s repertoire that premieres on Nov. 26, 2014 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The show marks No. 4 on the network that features Jonathan and Drew Scott and provides viewers with an inside look as they join forces to complete a massive renovation of the Scott family home in Las Vegas, just in time for a family reunion.

Budget Blinds, along with its trusted manufacturing partner, Horizons Window Fashions, provided custom window coverings on a total of nine windows inside the Scott family home. With help from the local Budget Blinds franchisee serving Reno, Jonathan and Drew were able to select shades, drapery and hardware that provide a sophisticated and comfortable aesthetic.

Budget Blinds products were also featured in seasons two and three of HGTV’s hit series featuring the Scott Brothers, Buying and Selling.

Tailored Living outfitted the home with custom storage solutions for the master and guest bedrooms as well as a main storage closet. The three-car garage as well as another tandem garage both received a similar treatment with personalized storage solutions, flexible tile flooring and durable PremierOne® floor coatings.

“We have loved working with Jonathan and Drew on their past home projects and were thrilled at the opportunity to do so again on a much more personal project,” says Chad Hallock, CEO of Home Franchise Concepts. “Our goal was to provide custom home solutions that would work for the entire Scott family. Each family member brings a different personality and a unique need to a home, and we are proud to see we struck the perfect balance for all of them.”

For more information on Property Brothers at Home, visit www.HGTV.com. Check your local listings for air times.

About Budget Blinds

Budget Blinds® was founded in 1992 and currently boasts over 900 franchise territories serving more than 7,500 cities throughout the United States and Canada. The company offers customers a full line of quality window coverings including shutters, shades, blinds, draperies and window film. It also provides free in-home consultations as well as complete measuring and installation services. Budget Blinds has been recognized as a leader in the franchise industry by organizations such as Entrepreneur, AllBusiness, Inc. and Franchise Business Review. With a strong vendor alliance program and growing product portfolio, Budget Blinds is the clear franchising leader in the multi-billion dollar window coverings market. For more information on Budget Blinds, visit www.budgetblinds.com or connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/budgetblinds. For franchise opportunities, please visit www.budget-blinds-franchise.com.

About Tailored Living

Tailored Living® featuring Premier Garage® proudly offers homeowners high quality organizational solutions for their garages, closets, pantries, family rooms, home offices and more through complimentary in-home consultations. The company also provides complete design, measuring and installation services adapted to each client’s specific needs. Tailored Living's industry experience, commitment to service, and wide breath of product offerings has allowed it to grow into the largest whole-home organization company in the nation with over 150 franchise territories serving more than 2,000 cities throughout the United States and Canada. For more information on Tailored Living, please call (800) 519-6296 or visit www.tailoredliving.com. For franchise opportunities, visit www.tailoredlivingfranchise.com. Connect with us on Facebook for behind the scenes photos and features by visiting www.facebook.com/TailoredLiving.

About HGTV & DIY NETWORK

America’s leading home and lifestyle brand, HGTV features a top-rated cable network that is distributed to more than 96 million U.S. households and the HGTV website, HGTV.com, the nation’s leading online home-and-garden destination that attracts an average of four million unique visitors per month. DIY Network, currently in more than 56 million homes, covers a broad range of programming, including home improvement and landscaping. The network’s award-winning website, DIYNetwork.com, consistently ranks among America’s top home and garden Internet destinations for entertaining videos and home improvement advice. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn., HGTV and DIY Network are wholly owned by Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (SNI).

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