N.H. State Home Show: Hammers for Veterans is all about giving back
By ROB LEVEY
Special to the Union Leader
February 23. 2018 8:23PM
With veterans making up more than 10 percent of the state's population and many struggling but often unwilling to ask for assistance, the Builders Care NH Foundation established Hammers for Veterans in 2015.
The program, whose purpose is "to raise funds for providing professional home construction related services to eligible New Hampshire veterans," generally assists between three and four veterans annually. Noting Hammers for Veterans was originally conceived to address the needs of those returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan, Program Chair Lynette Rogers said many of those they help are much older.
"We have an aging population here in New Hampshire, so we have a lot of veterans from Vietnam living in homes that require some significant repairs and modifications," she said.
Examples of the kinds of work funded and completed through Hammers for Veterans include wheelchair ramps, remodeled bathrooms, or the widening of doorways. In other instances, Hammers for Veterans has provided a new roof for a veteran, which was the case with Ralph Palumbo in Rochester.
According to Al Lawrence, who owns Artisan Electrical Contractors in Madbury and helped oversee the project and source materials, Palumbo was the perfect candidate for assistance. A veteran of the Army Reserves and living in his home since 1994, Palumbo said his roof has been leaking for years, but acknowledged he was unable to secure the necessary resources to affect proper repairs.
"He had a tarp thrown over his roof and skylight, but it was leaking through and into his home," Lawrence said. "He needed the help."
For Palumbo, the help he received from Hammers for Veterans was nothing short of remarkable.
"I couldn't believe all the work they did," he said. "I am so happy."
Expressing appreciation at the gratitude shown by Palumbo, Lawrence said giving back makes sense.
"A lot of people in the trades came together to make the job happen," he said. "It was a collaborative effort and I'm glad Artisan was part of it."
For Rogers, Hammers for Veterans underscores the philosophy of many - if not all - members of the New Hampshire Home Builders Association (NHHBA), which established the Builders Care NH Foundation.
"We believe very strongly in giving back to others - especially veterans, many of whom have sacrificed so much," she said. "With so many members in all different kinds of trades, we can make a real difference in the lives of these veterans."
In its first three years, Hammers for Veterans held a major fundraiser at the New Hampshire State Home Show in March. This year, Hammer for Veterans will instead host a yard sale on Saturday, April 28, with the sole purpose "to raise funds and provide professional construction related services to eligible New Hampshire veterans and their families."
"We felt like we could raise as much money, if not more, and make it easier to manage by having a one-day event," explained Rogers. "We look forward to a successful event."
The yard sale will take place at the New Hampshire Home Builders Association, 119 Airport Road, Concord. For more information about Hammers for Veterans, visit www.builderscarenh.com
, or call 228-0351.