With the arrival of April’s National Home Inspection month, we wanted to give our membership an update on the ongoing endeavors of the ASHI Foundation.
The ASHI Foundation Board has been working tirelessly to build excitement for the re-energized ASHI Foundation. The Foundation Board determined that InspectionWorld® 2019 would be the perfect opportunity to launch the first wave of the campaign.
A simple goal was established: Leave the city we visit for IW in better shape than when we arrive. This goal was a driving force, not just for this year’s campaign, but also to apply to all future IW outreach campaigns.
Homes For Our Troops
The next step was finding the right partner for the campaign. After researching various organizations, we discovered that Homes For Our Troops would be the perfect partner to kick things off in San Diego in January 2019.
Homes For Our Troops (HFOT) is a nonprofit organization with the mission “to build and donate specially adapted custom homes nationwide for severely injured post-9/11 veterans to enable them to rebuild their lives.” HFOT serves veterans around the country and, coincidentally, we learned that there were plans for a build in San Diego starting shortly after IW. So, we reached out to HFOT and together, we enthusiastically agreed upon a partnership. The Foundation campaign would focus on raising money to donate toward the building of the veteran’s new home.
As we worked out the logistics, we began to learn more about the veteran who would be receiving this specific home, SPC Joseph Paulk, Jr., as well as his journey. Paulk was on his first deployment when his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED). Paulk received the full force of the blast and ultimately was engulfed in flames.
As a result of his accident, Paulk has undergone 50 surgeries, including skin grafts and the removal of all of his fingers. Now retired from the military, Paulk faces a new set of challenges in his daily life. HFOT seeks to help Paulk overcome these challenges through a specially designed home to meets his needs. The home will be equipped with state-of-the-art climate control systems and automated components that will give Paulk greater independence and comfort. Most importantly, this home affords him the opportunity to build a bright future. With the money he would have had to use to finance a mortgage, he can start his own business. To see a video of his full story, visit www.youtu.be/Ag-y-3CEF4A
Campaign Launch at IW
ASHI’s Annual Business Meeting is an important annual event that takes place at IW. All attendees are invited to gather for a meal to discuss the state of the association, swear in the new board directors and recognize exemplary members with special awards. In January 2019, before the annual meeting began, we introduced the revitalized ASHI Foundation and discussed the kickoff campaign for Paulk. HFOT sent Wally Fanene to speak to the group and offer more insight into how HFOT empowers and impacts the lives of veterans.
Like SPC Paulk, Fanene is a veteran who sacrificed for our country and returned home with severe injuries. HFOT heard about Fanene and understood the challenges he faced and renovated his home to better fit his needs. A key point that Fanene expressed was the intangible effects of his injuries. He stated that losing confidence in himself was one of the toughest parts of his journey.
The audience at IW found it so powerful to hear Fanene explain how his renovated home played a large part in helping him rebuild his confidence and become comfortable in his own skin. His story truly drove home the impact that HFOT makes in the lives of veterans. After sharing his story, Fanene shared SPC Paulk’s story with our attendees, as the donation portal opened.
Immediately after the instructions to donate were shown, IW attendees reached for their phones and submitted donations. Within the first few minutes, we were already halfway to the initial goal of $15,000. Terry Howell, President of Radalink, approached the podium and announced that he would match 50% of all donations made that morning. With such generosity, we exceeded the $15,000 goal. By the end of IW, the total amount of donations made for SPC Paulk’s home build was $31,121.
Future of the Foundation
It’s safe to say that the first venture of the ASHI Foundation was a success. Leaving the conference, all attendees knew that the ASHI Foundation had made a meaningful impact in the life of a veteran who gave so much to this country. ASHI has long been considered a beacon of professionalism for home inspectors and revitalizing the Foundation has been a welcome initiative. ASHI now has an outlet to aid people and communities in need, while showcasing ASHI’s true mission: to serve others and distinguish our members as leaders of our profession.
We hope to continue this tradition at each future InspectionWorld and the ASHI Foundation will also find other ways to have a positive impact on people’s lives. As the Foundation continues to re-establish itself, education is an important area of special focus and efforts.
Due to a generous donation by Marvin Goldstein, the ASHI Foundation has started the Milton Goldstein Educational Award Scholarship. This scholarship will award a stipend to top performers among graduates of the ASHI School. Read more on Milton Goldstein’s legacy as a pioneering home inspector whose work and life inspired this scholarship by visiting www.ashifoundation.org/donors.