Last updated on September 8th, 2023 at 12:48 pm
In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Operation Appreciation program, H-E-B and the H-E-B Tournament of Champions Charitable Trust are celebrating the milestone of gifting 40 mortgage-free, custom homes to severely wounded military veterans and their families.
H-E-B’s Operation Appreciation will continue to celebrate its decade of service throughout the year.
On Feb. 4, U.S. Army Cpl. Blake McMinn and his family were given the keys to their new, fully furnished home in Fort Worth. McMinn’s home, which was dedicated by Central Market in partnership with nonprofit Home for Our Troops, became the 40th home gifted through these efforts.
For H-E-B, which is a multi-format retailer that operates Central Market, the initiative is part of the company’s Homes Built for Heroes program, an initiative that has worked with military nonprofits to gift homes across Texas to severely wounded veterans since 2013. H-E-B Homes Built for Heroes program, a component of H-E-B’s Operation Appreciation, is a companywide effort that supports service members, veterans and their families.
These homes include dozens of special adaptations such as widened doorways for wheelchair access, a roll-in shower and kitchen amenities that include pull-down shelving and lowered countertops. For these homes, H-E-B works with the family to design the look and feel of the home’s interior.
“This is not only life-changing for me, but also my family,” said McMinn, a Texas native who regularly uses a wheelchair after being injured during his service in Iraq. “Without this support, we would not have this amazing opportunity.”
In 2022, H-E-B Operation Appreciation and the H-E-B Tournament of Champions gifted six homes across Texas. There are five homes in progress or under construction that will be gifted later this year, and additional homes will be committed soon.
“Our commitment to the military community has always been a part of our company culture since our first store opened in 1905, starting with Howard Edward Butt Sr. who served in the United States Navy during World War I,” said Winell Herron, H-E-B group VP of public affairs, diversity and environmental affairs.
“Through H-E-B Operation Appreciation, we’re proud to continue this longstanding support and honor the dedication and sacrifices military service members and their families make on behalf of the nation.”
Launched in 2013, H-E-B’s Operation Appreciation aims at supporting, honoring and providing employment opportunities to military service members and their families. The retailer holds events throughout the year to celebrate military spouses, support youth education initiatives and honor holidays such as Independence Day, Veterans Day and Memorial Day. H-E-B partners also assemble and send hundreds of care packages to service members deployed across the world.
Additionally, H-E-B’s annual donation campaign raises funds for the homes and other military-serving non-profits, including the Military Child Education Coalition, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors and the United Service Organizations. The program has provided more than $10 million in support to dozens of military-based nonprofits in Texas, as well as efforts that provide mortgage-free homes to severely wounded veterans.