July 9, 2008
Contact: Orli Cotel, Sierra Club (415) 977-5627
John Gonsalves, Homes for Our Troops (508) 823-3300
The Sierra Club Foundation Joins with Homes for our Troops to Build Green Homes for Injured Veterans
SAN FRANCISCO. The Sierra Club Foundation announced a new partnership with Homes for Our Troops to incorporate green building materials and processes into the homes it builds for severely injured veterans across the country.
“We’re thrilled to be able to give back to families that have given so much to our country,” said Peter Martin, Executive Director of The Sierra Club Foundation. “We hope this project will demonstrate how easy it is to save energy at home. We can lower our energy bills, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and create jobs in the green building sector at the same time.”
Homes for Our Troops is a non-profit organization that builds specially adapted, handicap accessible homes for severely injured veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and they provide these homes at no cost to the veterans. Thousands of people and companies lay the foundation and build these homes by volunteering for “America’s greatest volunteers” our men and women of the Armed Forces. Homes for Our Troops has already completed 28 specially adapted homes across the country, they have about two dozen more currently underway and plan to build 100 more homes over the next three years..
“We are excited about this opportunity to increase the green building we incorporate into the homes we build for the severely injured veterans we assist,” said John Gonsalves, Homes for Our Troops’ President and Founder. “This grant will allow us to incorporate state of the art building techniques and materials such as geothermal heating system and photovoltaic solar panels to give our veterans the long-term economic and environmental benefits of green building. It will also allow us to educate the public about our experiences with green building so we can be part of expanding this nationwide effort.”
Homes for Our Troops will receive a grant of up to $1,000,000 over the next three years from The Sierra Club Foundation. The grant will be used to explore new technologies and products designed with environmental and energy conservation concerns in mind, include a higher degree of green building into its homes, and fully participate in the Energy Star Program and the LEED Program that was recently established by the US Green Building Council. These energy efficient homes will provide long-term economic and environmental benefits to these veterans and their families.
Equally significant, the grant provides funds for Homes for Our Troops to engage in outreach to both the home construction industry and the general public on the benefits and importance of green building, in the hope of promoting a greater understanding of the many benefits of the nationwide green building movement.
Homes for Our Troops is a non-profit, non-partisan 501 (c)(3) organization founded in 2004 that builds specially adapted homes for Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars that have returned home with severe, life-altering injuries and disabilities. Homes for Our Troops raises donations of money, building materials and professional labor and coordinates the process of building a new home or adapting an existing home for handicapped accessibility. The homes are provided at no cost to the veterans.
The Sierra Club Foundation was founded in 1960 to administer funds in support of scientific, educational, charitable, and literary efforts, to preserve, protect, and restore the natural environment. The Foundation maintains more than 400 separate funds, and its primary grantee is the national Sierra Club.