LAUDERDALE LAKES (CBSMiami) – Dozens of volunteers came together to help renovate the home of a South Florida Navy veteran, as part of a nation-wide initiative funded by Home Depot.

After months of anticipation, the Gulf War veteran got some much-needed improvements to her Lauderdale Lakes home.  “It’s a blessing.  It’s a big blessing for me,” said homeowner Carol  Semplis.

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Home Depot donated the materials while about 30 employees from various South Florida stores came together to get the job done.   “We basically put new flooring, new wood flooring and tile,” said Nadene Rose, the manager at the Oakland Park Home Depot.  “We renovated her kitchen, a new kitchen, new bath.  We remodeled the guest bathroom and the master bathroom. “

Semplis herself helped paint her home.  The volunteers also did landscaping, worked on the patio and even planted an edible garden.

But Semplis says the new flooring will make the biggest difference.  An infection during the Gulf War led to her big toes being amputated.  “I don’t have any big toes and my feet have been giving me a lot of trouble.  That floor was making it worse. “

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It’s not just Carol’s home getting a helping hand.  Team Depot volunteers from all over the country are donating their time and their talent to help renovate more than 1,000 veterans homes between September 11th and Veterans Day as part of Home Depot’s Celebration of Service.

Employees took the time to also express their gratitude by thanking Semplis for her service and even had a cookout to mark this new beginning.  “These veterans bravely served our country and basically this is the least we can do by giving back,” said Rose.

Semplis is thankful for the special day and for the many memories she’ll get to make throughout the years.  “Barbecues, having friends over, company and some of my friends are veterans too so I’ll definitely be inviting them to enjoy, to spend some time with me.”


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