Community Engagement

Helping Veterans Feel at Home: Wayfair x Homes For Our Troops

HFOT Garcia
Nicole Hill Gerulat

For Veterans and military families, having a comfortable and accessible home where they can focus on their families, reconnect, and recover after serving is so important. That’s why Wayfair is a proud partner of Homes For Our Troops, a nonprofit organization that builds and donates specially-adapted custom homes nationwide for severely injured post-9/11 Veterans to enable them to rebuild their lives.

Supporting Veterans at Home

Since the beginning of the partnership in 2018, Wayfair has collaborated with Homes For Our Troops to design and furnish multiple homes for veteran families with a goal of meeting their accessibility needs.

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Most recently, Wayfair worked with Homes For Our Troops on their 300th build for Army Sergeant Nathan Shumaker and his family.

During a fire mission in 2010, an enemy mortar round struck Sgt. Shumaker and his unit in Afghanistan, resulting in the loss of his left leg and damage to his right leg. Sgt. Shumaker has made significant progress in his recovery, however, living in a two-level home was challenging. He was unable to use his wheelchair, resulting in him wearing his prosthetic all day.

In September 2020, the Shumaker family moved into their new custom home from Homes For Our Troops that was fully furnished and decorated by Wayfair. Wayfair worked closely with the Shumaker family to learn about their home style and needs, and designed and furnished each room in their specially-adapted home.The single-level home was designed to be accessible, from a wider shower in the bathroom, to pull-down shelving for easier access to kitchen cabinets. Sgt. Shumaker can now more comfortably move throughout his home and help his wife, Missy, with more daily activities as they care for their two children.

“I like that, here in the house, I can get anywhere and everywhere in my wheelchair,” said Sgt. Shumaker. “It makes me feel empowered. I don’t have to get up, put on my leg, or grab my crutches. I can just slip into my wheelchair.”

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Meet the Garcia Family

Marine Corporal (Cpl.) Carlos Garcia was on his first deployment in Afghanistan when he was severely injured in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in 2010, resulting in the loss of both of his legs.

After he was discharged from the hospital, Cpl. Garcia and his family ended up in housing that was not accessible. It was hard for him to maneuver his wheelchair around the house, making it difficult to get in and out of rooms.

Receiving a home from Homes For Our Troops changed all of that.

“When we got our house from Homes For Our Troops, I could see the change immediately,” shared Jacki, Cpl. Garcia’s wife. “Just him being able to get around the house as quickly as lightning has done so much for his independence, but it has also given me my independence back.”

For the Garcias, home is all about spending quality time with family.

“Home to me means seeing my kids grow up, it's where I can put my roots down," added Cpl. Garcia.

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Meet the Curtin Family

Similar to Cpl. Garcia, Marine Lance Corporal (LCpl.) John Curtin was injured during his first deployment in Afghanistan. An explosion resulted in the loss of both his legs and severely injured his right forearm. While recovering at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, he met his wife Brittany, and the two now live in Tennessee with their daughter.

In 2019, the Curtin family moved into their custom home courtesy of Homes For Our Troops. They worked with Tara Donovan, Wayfair’s style director, to incorporate their farmhouse industrial style into every corner of the home. Most importantly, Tara ensured everything from the furniture to the finishes were functional to accommodate LCpl. Curtin’s physical needs.

This new home means a better quality of life for the Curtins.

"To me, it means more freedom and the ability to do what I want to do, when I want to do it, how I want to do it,” added LCpl. Curtin.

Giving Back to Veteran Families

In 2020, Wayfair’s partnership with Homes For Our Troops celebrated a number of exciting milestones. In addition to furnishing the Shumaker’s home, Wayfair reached more than $1 million in contributions to Homes For Our Troops through fundraising and product donations to help veteran families.

“Helping Veterans move into new homes and start a new phase of their lives with their families is incredible,” said Todd Bowers, Head of Corporate Social Impact, Wayfair. “As a Marine, I know first hand how hard adjusting to homeownership can be after service. At Wayfair, we take great pride in making this transition easier.”

If you’re interested in contributing to Homes For Our Troops, please show your support by selecting “donate at checkout” with your purchase on Wayfair.com. 

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