Home Builders Foundation’s 3-Day Blitz Build
Building community rallies to complete 23 projects for individuals living with disabilities
For 32-year-old Matt F., the past few years have consisted of a series of positive milestones. He married his sweetheart, Jess, and became a first-time homeowner.
These steps, which may seem ordinary for some, are especially significant for Matt who became a paraplegic at age 11 after sustaining a spinal cord injury during a sledding accident.
On June 11th, Matt celebrated another milestone when a landing and mobility assistance ramp were installed so that he can easily access his new home in Edgewater using his wheelchair.
The installation was part of the 11th annual Blitz Build, a yearly initiative of the nonprofit Home Builders Foundation (HBF).
Blitz Build is a three-day event during which multiple crews of builders, tradespeople and volunteers build ramps and decks for individuals across the Denver area who are living with disabilities.
Since the initiation of the program in 2011, more than 200 ramps with a total retail value of $800,000 have been installed.
During this year’s Blitz Build, which was sponsored by Fiberon and took place June 10-12, 22 crews comprised of more than 200 volunteers completed projects for 13 individuals. The goal of the event is to enhance safety and the ability for independent living for individuals who utilize mobility assistance devices such as walkers or wheelchairs.
West + Main Homes was one of the crews involved with installing the landing and ramp at Matt’s home. It was the first year the Real Estate brokerage has been involved in Blitz Build and West + Main co-founder Stacie Staub says it was a rewarding experience for all involved. “Having this hands-on opportunity to impact someone’s life and then see the finished product and how much value it provides was so powerful for all of us,” explained Staub.
Across town, a project crew from OrePac Building Products had a similar experience. Their team installed a ramp in east Denver for 12-year-old Hafeez who utilizes a wheelchair. Jennifer Eye, OrePac Office Manager says that her crew signs up early every year to ensure they have the chance to participate. “It’s a great bonding experience,” says Eye. “But the real reward comes at the end of the day when the client sees and uses the ramp for the first time. Hafeez’s smile will stay with all of us for a long time.”
The individuals who received ramps are living with conditions like severe arthritis, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s or partial paralysis as the result of an injury. Each wanted the ability to access and leave their own homes safely and independently, so they can elevate their lives and thrive in the community.
This year’s Blitz Build projects took place in Aurora, Brighton, Castle Rock, Denver, Edgewater, Federal Heights, Parker, Thornton and Westminster. Sponsors and material donations covered the $50,000 value of the ramps and event costs so that the ramps were completely free to the clients.
Blitz Build also has a fundraising component called “Ramp this House” that raises money to provide funding that will help the HBF to complete future accessible home modifications for deserving clients.
About Home Builders Foundation
For over 25 years, Home Builders Foundation has enabled individuals with disabilities and their families to live more independent, elevated lives. Skilled volunteers and collaborative partners come together to create home modifications that empower greater access, reinforce safety and equip clients with the ability to tackle everyday tasks. HBF has completed home modifications including ramps, room alterations, bathrooms, and much more for more than 1,800 individuals and organizations. The request for modifications has more than tripled since 2007. Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, more than 200 home modification projects were completed in 2020 and even more requests are anticipated for 2021. To learn more about HBF, visit www.hbfdenver.org.