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The Home Depot Foundation and Operation Blessing Build a ‘Safe Haven’ for a Family in Need

May 06, 2019

“I was speechless. Nothing could’ve prepared me for what was about to take place,” says Divya McArthur.

Divya McArthur, her husband Terry and son Lucas had a homecoming to remember when The Home Depot Foundation and Operation Blessing recently presented them with a new home. The family’s original home suffered extensive damage from Hurricanes Mathew and Florence – only 22 months apart. With no flood insurance, the McArthurs were dipping into their savings to make repairs and to preserve sentimental belongings.  

In November of 2018, the McArthur’s lives were forever changed. Sitting in the audience at a taping of “The Tonight Show,” Jimmy Fallon singled the couple out for a surprise announcement: The Home Depot Foundation and Operation Blessing were teaming up to get the family back on its feet. Help was on the way. 

While the initial plan was to renovate the house, flooding continued to present a challenge to ensure its structural integrity. The McArthurs needed to start fresh in a new home.

“We just kind of decided it did not make sense to put that kind of money into a home that could potentially flood again,” Divya told People magazine in an interview. “To be honest, it was kind of bittersweet because I have ties to this house. It’s my grandmother’s and it’s just part of a legacy. However, wisdom says you need to do what’s best for you and your family.”  

The Home Depot Foundation and Operation Blessing dove into the project to bring the new home to life. Volunteers worked to bring the family an upgraded outdoor space, renovate the kitchen and bathroom and provide brand new furniture as a surprise for the family. “The house before was nice, but to have a place that’s a safe haven and not to have to worry about when it rains—it ended up being the home of our dreams,” says Divya. “Even with all of the uncertainties in the world, people really do care.”

This volunteer project was a part of The Home Depot’s commitment to helping communities rebuild after natural disasters. In 2018, The Home Depot Foundation committed more than $5 million to disaster relief efforts, including Hurricanes Michael, Florence and Olivia, California wildfires and flooding in the Midwest. 

Learn more about The Home Depot Foundation’s efforts here.

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