Learn About Homes for Our Troops
Homes for Our Troops is a national non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2004. They are strongly committed to helping those who have selflessly given to our country and have returned home with serious disabilities and injuries since September 11, 2001. It is our duty and our honor to assist severely injured Servicemen and Servicewomen and their immediate families by raising donations of money, building materials, professional labor and to coordinate the process of building a home that provides maximum freedom of movement and the ability to live more independently.
The homes provided by Homes for Our Troops are given at NO COST to the Veterans they serve.
Note: An eligible Veteran or service member may receive a Veterans Administration Specially Adapted Housing Grant up to a maximum amount of $63,780. Homes for Our Troops’ assistance covers all costs over and above this grant to ensure that the home is provided at no cost to the recipient.
Charity Watch Ratings
Charity Navigator, one of the premiere charity rating agencies in the country, has reviewed Homes for Our Troops finances and awarded them with its highest rating of 4 stars.
Charity Navigator analyzes the most recent four years of a charity's finances in areas such as percent of funds spent directly on programs, overhead costs and other important factors that measure if a charity is prudently managing the funds entrusted in the hands of a charity. Homes for Our Troops received a score of 68.96 out of a possible 70 points - a grade of 98.5%.
The American Institute of Philanthropy, one of the country’s premier charity watchdog organizations, has included Homes for Our Troops in their "Top-Rated Veterans & Military Charities" listing. Only 7 of the 40 Veterans charities rated by AIP are included in the Top-Rated Category.
Because of their stringent review process, the AIP is described as "the pit bull of watchdogs" by the New York Times. Newsweek said "It's the toughest of the bunch. Because it disregards certain, potentially suspect, expenses and donations, it fails some nonprofits that the other raters approve."
LIFTING OTHERS THROUGH TOUGH TIMES
Marine Corporal Brandon Rumbaugh’s first tour of duty in Iraq in 2009 was uneventful. Most of the time he says was spent lifting weights. But when he headed to Afghanistan in September 2010 for his second deployment, he had a feeling this time would be different.
On November 29, 2010, while carrying a stretcher, and rushing to aid a Marine injured in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast, Rumbaugh stepped on a second IED, resulting in the traumatic amputations of his right leg at the hip and his left leg below the knee. His brothers said their final goodbyes to him on the copter, fearing the worst.
But six months later, after pushing through aggressive therapies at Walter Reed, he would amaze everyone, and bench press 280 pounds at the 31st National Veterans Wheelchair Games.
Just where did the motivation come from? Explains Rumbaugh, “I felt like if I started getting back to the normal everyday things I used to do, that it would help me. I had to start somewhere, and the gym was that place.”
Rumbaugh has since qualified for the Paralympics in weightlifting, benching an impressive 400 pounds in his class. When he’s not lifting weights, Rumbaugh spends time lifting other Veterans through difficult times by working for a nonprofit called, It’s About the Warrior Foundation (IATW). The organization helps assist and empower Tri-State Area (Western Penn., Eastern Ohio, Northern W.V.) post 9/11 Veterans and their families with financial, educational, recreational, and therapeutic needs. Rumbaugh currently serves as its Board Advisor and motivational speaker. Rumbaugh says his group goes beyond providing handouts to Veterans. “We don’t just give checks and gift cards,” he says. “We’re going to help the Veteran and their family by understanding why it is that they need the help, and help them make good decisions after that.” Rumbaugh says the assistance he gives can be as simple as helping them make a connection at the VA or meeting up with them at dinner to talk about career moves.
Several times a week, Rumbaugh is invited through IATW to share his personal story with audiences ranging from corporate executives, to college hockey teams and elementary students. IATW’s Executive Director Steve Monteleone, says Rumbaugh has an immediate “visual effect” on the audience, which is at first standoffish and unsure how to react to the fact that the young man in front of them without legs. But after listening to Rumbaugh tell his heroic story of perseverance, they all line up to have their photos taken with him. Says Monteleone, “He’s somewhat of a celebrity.
Rumbaugh says he feels fortunate to be in a position to give back by helping others, adding that the mortgage-free home he received from HFOT in April 2014 affords him that flexibility. “Saving $1,200-1,500 a month allows me to invest in other opportunities and helps broaden what I want to do.”
For now, that means helping others push themselves to achieve results: “No matter what- it’s never too late to move forward and work harder to accomplish what you want,” he says.
Go to www.homesforourtroops.com to learn more about this worthy charity that builds specially adapted homes for our severely wounded heroes.