Home Depot Donation Allows Anka Akron Veterans Home to Purchase Tractor and Provide Residents with Job Skills and Income
By: Christina Antos, Anka Behavioral Health, Inc.
AKRON, MI – Through its Community Impact Grants Program, The Home Depot® Foundation has awarded $5,000 to Anka Behavioral Health, Inc. (Anka) to support their Veterans Transitional Housing Program in Akron, MI.
With the donation, the program has purchased a lawn tractor that will help support the Veterans living there learn job skills and earn a paycheck. The program, which sits on several acres of farmland, traditionally had to contract their yard work out to an outside business because they didn’t have the tools to do it themselves. When the Home Depot Foundation gave them a $5,000 gift card donation, it provided a double opportunity – to not only purchase a much needed tool (the tractor), but hire our veterans to do the yard work on the property and pay them with the money that would normally be going to an outside vendor.
“These are the types of donations that can really make a huge difference, leading to opportunities for self-sufficiency,” states Oscar Vales, MFT, Anka Vice President of Program Services.
Through a partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Anka Akron Veterans home is a place where veterans experiencing homelessness and behavioral and emotional trauma and challenges can live for up to two years. During their stay, staff assists veterans in obtaining health care, group and individual therapy, substance abuse treatment, VA benefits, educational and vocational training, and other services.
Veterans, Kyle and Matt, have already been trained on using the John Deere lawn tractor and have been mowing the property and earning an income. They will continue to earn this income throughout the year as equipment that allows the tractor to be converted into a snowplow will also be purchased.
“We are very grateful to have received the very generous donation of the John Deere Lawn tractor. The quality of the machine directly reflects the quality and professionalism of the Home Depot Company,” Kyle, Anka Akron resident professes.
Currently, the Anka Akron Veterans Program is fundraising to purchase a shed to store the tractor and keep it safe from the elements. If you are interested in donating to this cause, please go to www.ankabhi.org/donate