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Home Depot pitches in to renovate VFW

Home Depot volunteers were at the Rosemount VFW last week to make some renovations.1 / 2
Volunteers complete renovations at the VFW.2 / 2

Last year, the Rosemount VFW made contact with the Eagan Home Depot looking for a gallon of paint at a discounted price, just to touch up some of their walls. They left with a whole lot more.

Following that visit, associates at Home Depot began working with the VFW to coordinate an entire renovation for VFW Post 9433, all provided by the Home Depot Foundation.

"Usually if someone is looking for paint, (there is) more to get done," said Cody Wilkens, store manager for the Eagan Home Depot.

With help from his superiors, Wilkens got in further contact with the VFW and started the planning process, including making a site visit.

Over the last five years, the Home Depot Foundation has put $80 million towards helping veterans and their families. The Eagan store was able to secure $12,000 to update Post 9433. In addition to the contributed money, the Eagan store also had many other Home Depot locations get involved in this renovation, including Apple Valley, Eden Prairie, Inver Grove Heights and more.

Prep work began June 10 for the massive renovation, which included basic sheet rocking. By the big volunteer day, June 13, the project was well under way. Over 60 Home Depot employees volunteered to help with the renovation.

"They've (the veterans) made the ultimate sacrifices, so this is the least we can do and for the community, for everyone to enjoy," Wilkens said.

Janice Berg, Team Depot Captain for this renovation, has worked on projects similar to this in the past.

"This is the kind of thing we do all the time," Berg said. "Saying thank you, to especially veterans.

"Last fall, same crew, we updated two disabled vets' homes in Savage and Prior Lake," Berg said. "Two huge renovations. That's what we find, we get a very consistent group of people."

Wilkens agreed.

"(The volunteers are) not afraid to dive in or lend a hand ... it's unbelievable," Wilkens said.

The renovations to Post 9433 are extensive: a new ceiling upstairs, energy efficient lights, outdoor landscaping, new doors and new light fixtures are just some of them. The volunteers were at the VFW for a full day on Thursday in order to make all of these things happen.

Though Wilkens said they "don't expect anything," he said the members of the Rosemount VFW have been more than accommodating.

""The VFW has been an absolute gem to work with ... the most gracious hosts," Wilkens said.