The new porch is just one of many outside home improvements the Hills received recently as part of The Home Depot’s “Celebration of Service,” a campaign to assist disabled veterans with projects they may not otherwise be able to do themselves.
In addition to the new front porch, about three dozen volunteers from The Home Depot stores in Carroll, Cobb, Douglas and Paulding counties joined the two-day effort to finish a back deck the Hills had started but never completed, paint the exterior of the home, install new doors for better insulation and make other minor repairs.
“We’re just doing some minor repairs and things that may be beyond his ability right now,” said Jennifer Brooks, assistant store manager at The Home Depot in Douglasville. “It’s all done for free and on a volunteer basis by store associates who have volunteered their time to help out with this project. We’re just taking care of our customers.”
All 10 of the stores in The Home Depot’s second district were either represented by volunteer labor or contributed to the cost of the materials for the project, including those in Villa Rica and Carrollton.
Hill, a disabled Army veteran, saw a commercial about the “Celebration of Service” campaign last fall and contacted The Home Depot’s corporate office, which led to his home being chosen for the improvements. The repairs couldn’t have come soon enough for Hill, who broke his ankle on New Year’s Eve after falling through a rotten place in the floor of his old front porch.
“We’ve really been anticipating this and we’re very thankful for all the work they’ve done,” Hill said. “They’re doing things I wouldn’t have been able to do myself because I haven’t been able to do anything physical in a long time.”
The boards on the home’s front porch were last replaced 35 years ago.
“I had a good porch, it’s just that the boards were old,” Hill said. “They said they’d do it all, so they ripped it all off the front of the house and rebuilt it.”
Wendell and Renee have lived in the home off Hannah Road for 17 years, but their children mark the sixth generation to have lived in the home.
“Each generation who has lived here has added something onto the house,” Hill said. “When we moved out here, we added a bathroom and another bedroom.”
The home at one time was owned by Renee Hill’s great-great-grandfather, Pleasant Holt, a town marshal killed in 1908 in the line of duty for which the Holt-Bishop Justice Center on Villa Rica’s Main Street is named. Renee has lived in the home she shares with her husband most of her life.
“We are just tickled to death,” Renee Hill said. “It needed these repairs so bad.”