The Home Builders Foundation held its annual luncheon on Thursday. The event brought together 400 recipients, volunteers, sponsors and guests, and helped raise an estimated $70,000 to support the organization’s mission to build independence and elevate the lives of people with disabilities in the Denver area.
HBF is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Bill Wood, president of the organization said that as of Nov. 1, the day of the luncheon, the organization has completed 154 projects for recipients. Over 200 volunteers worked during Blitz Build in August to complete ramps for 20 recipients in the Denver metro area.
“This kind of impact can only be attributed to the tremendous effort of countless individuals, companies and organizations, board and committee members, dedicated volunteers, project captains, annual supporters, financial contributors, and friends and family,” Wood said.
At the luncheon, the focus was on recipients and their successes.
“Most impactful are the stories of our recipients,” Wood said, “and how with just a little help from the many people in this room, [they] are living more independent and elevated lives.”
Chris Lentz, a quadruple amputee who received a ramp at her new home in Castle Rock last year, works with several nonprofits that focus on sepsis awareness. She volunteers with the Limb Preservation Foundation and has walked in several charity 5ks.
At a conference in Houston in October, she taught fellow amputees and therapists how she uses her prosthetic limbs.
“I taught a lot of people how to use their arms, which was really gratifying to me. I taught some occupational therapists from Japan how I use my arm prosthetics,” she said.
Brian Johnson, construction director for HBF, reiterated the impact that project captains have on the organization’s efforts. These people are “where the rubber meets the road,” he said. “It’s how we get things done.”
Captains don’t just lead crews on building projects. Captains and tradespeople design plans for the renovations in a home, acquire materials, deal with logistics and serve as ambassadors for HBF to the recipients, Johnson said.
Meanwhile, they’re also running their own businesses in the midst of a persistent skilled labor shortage.
“Yet even facing these obstacles, these men and women have found time to support our projects,” he said.
One of those captains is Dave Jackson, principal at Jackson Design Build in Denver. Jackson has been involved with HBF since 2001, when he helped build a roll-in shower for a veteran paralyzed by surgery complications.
“We enjoyed the feeling we got from that experience so much that we did a second project, and then a third, and then a fourth,” he said.
He added, “I’ve seen this organization grow and mature into the thriving and vital force that you see today.”
Chris Layne was injured while rock climbing with her son for his birthday two years ago. Now she’s a member of the HBF board.
“I wouldn’t be sitting on this stage right now if it wasn’t for the Home Builders Foundation to give me the independence to get out there and tell people with disabilities … no matter what the cause is, you can do this,” Layne said.
She added, “I still say thank you to the Home Builders Foundation every single day of my life. … That’s how profound it is.”