Volunteers join United Way by Giving Back to a Local Veteran this Veterans Day

On Veterans Day, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas partnered with Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity and volunteers from Texas Instruments, Energy Future Holdings and its family of companies, including TXU Energy and Luminant and La Quinta Inns & Suites unite to build a home for a veteran family.

Texas Instruments, Other Corporations, Habitat Team With United Way to Assist Military VeteransDMagazine (Source)

Volunteers mark Veterans Day helping vet make herself at home in southeast DallasThe Dallas Morning News (Source)

Volunteers build new home for Dallas veteranFox 4 News (Source)

Construction Starts on New Home for DFW VeteranCW 33 (Source)

United Way, Darren Woodson & Volunteers from Local Companies Team up to Build a Dallas Veteran a HomePark Cities BubbleLife (Source)

Vet’s Home Built on Veterans DayThe Dallas Morning News, Print Edition

United Way, Darren Woodson & Volunteers from Local Companies Team up to Build a Dallas Veteran a HomeSouth Dallas BubbleLife (Source)


Texas Instruments, Other Corporations, Habitat Team With United Way to Assist Military Veterans

Photo_DMag

By Glenn Hunter, DMagazine (Source)

At first blush, Darren Woodson and Breana Austin wouldn’t seem to have much in common. He’s a former Dallas Cowboys star safety from Phoenix, and she’s a Dallas native who’s served since 2010 as an administrative specialist with the Texas Army National Guard. Today, though, the pair’s paths will cross when the Cowboys’ newest Ring of Honor member takes hammer in hand to help build a new house for Austin in southeast Dallas’ historic Joppa neighborhood.

It’s all part of a Veteran’s Day effort by the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas to illustrate the fact that, for too many military veterans, home ownership often is out of reach. Because of that the United Way has partnered with Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity, Texas Instruments, and other local corporations to host a special, so-called “Unite for Change” initiative involving Austin and the former Cowboy.

Over the course of 10 build dates under the “Unite” initiative, volunteers from Texas Instruments, Energy Future Holdings, and La Quinta Inns & Suites are helping erect a home for Austin and her 6-month-old son, Terran. At the event today Woodson and other volunteers will raise the walls on the structure, whose construction is expected to be completed by February (by which time Austin will have completed her military service).

“I’m proud to partner with United Way and Habitat for Humanity in providing a home for our heroes,” Woodson said. “We’re coming together as a community to serve those who’ve so bravely served us. They were there when we needed them, and now it’s our turn to give back.”

The local United Way has focused on veterans in other ways as well. Late last month, the agency hosted a networking event that brought together nonprofits, corporations, and others to discuss solutions for supporting struggling veterans. And, next week, the agency will hold a “financial empowerment” training session to help nonprofits mentor veterans on best financial practices.

“Veterans can face unique financial challenges when returning to civilian life—often struggling to find good jobs and secure stable homes,” said Jennifer Sampson, president and CEO of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. “United Way is committed to providing financial education and solutions to those who have served and sacrificed so much on our behalf.”

Austin, for example, is currently living in an apartment in a high-crime area, where she and her son face instability and uncertainty. She’s confident, though, that things will get better for them in their new Habitat home in Joppa, near the Great Trinity Forest. “My son will be able to play and grow up with other children,” Austin said.

Added Terri Grosh, worldwide employee engagement manager for Texas Instruments: “Too many veterans and their families have been unable to acquire a [home] that serves as a foundation for stability. Breana Austin’s story is a perfect example. We think the men and women who work to safeguard our nation deserve a secure future.”

With Texas Instruments as its presenting sponsor, the United Way’s “United for Change” initiative is focusing in several ways on improving health, education, and financial stability across North Texas.


Volunteers mark Veterans Day helping vet make herself at home in southeast Dallas

DallasNews_Pic1

By Nicholas Friedman, The Dallas Morning News (Source)

Dozens of volunteers spent their Veterans Day helping a Dallas vet build a new home for her and her baby boy.

“I’m very overwhelmed,” said Breana Austin, who’s served in the Army National Guard since 2010. “All of these volunteers took time out of their lives and they don’t even know me personally. I’m very grateful.”

Austin, her mother, grandmother and her 6-month-old son, Terran, were on hand Wednesday as volunteers from Texas Instruments, Energy Future Holdings and La Quinta Inns & Suites helped build her a new home in the Joppa neighborhood of southeast Dallas.

“We’re here to celebrate with new friends and old friends and a new life for Breana,” said Bill Hall, CEO of Dallas Habitat for Humanity. “If this place was anywhere else in the world, we wouldn’t be able to build it.”

Habitat and the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas organized the effort, the first of 10 build dates to be held locally in the next six months.

Austin, 24, is just the latest veteran to benefit from the Unite for Change program, a community engagement movement spearheaded by United Way.

“Veterans are often struggling to re-enter the job market and find safe and stable homes,” said Jennifer Sampson, president and CEO of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. “This is an investment in those that put everything on the line for this country.”

Wednesday’s housing offensive got some defensive help, too, from former Dallas Cowboy Darren Woodson. He admitted feeling a bit out of his element building a house.

DallasNews_Pic3

“I stood over there and held a hammer,” he joked. “All I could do was tackle people. But I saw the volunteers working and saw Breana sign a wall in her new home.

“That will forever be burned into my memory.”


Volunteers build new home for Dallas veteran

via Fox 4 News, Can’t see the video above? Click Here

This Veterans Day will be remembered as a special one for a local former service member. The United Way partnered with Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity to build her a new home.

Breana Austin joined the Texas Army National Guard as a patient admin specialist in 2010. She now lives in south Dallas with a young son.

But the United Way and Habitat for Humanity say she and many other veterans often face financial challenges when returning to civilian life. They have a hard time finding good jobs and securing homes.

Wednesday was a key day in the construction of Austin’s new home. The walls went up. The volunteers were also joined by Dallas Cowboys legend and new member of the Cowboys Ring of Honor, Darren Woodson.

“To have that number volunteers out here doing what they do best and serving the community, that’s what’s been special. And Breana has been grateful. It’s been emotional for me because I get to see a young lady whose put her time in and served us as a country, put a smile on her face and her child’s face,” Woodson said.

The organizations the effort can bring awareness about the problem military heroes face when it comes to home ownership and financial stability.


Construction Starts on New Home for DFW Veteran

via CW 33, Can’t see the video above? Click Here

People celebrate Veterans Day in many different ways, but some folks wanted to hammer in the purpose of the day.

“United Way Metropolitan Dallas is Partnering with our community partners to help build a home for a veteran,” said Jennifer Sampson President/CEO United Way Dallas.

That Veteran is Breana Austin who served in the Texas Army National Guard. She and her son have had a hard time finding a home.

“I’ve been from apartment to apartment, so having a house and giving him a back yard to play in is awesome,” Austin said.

Folks with the United Way say the job doesn’t end when the last nail is hammered. They also provide financial counseling to help first-time homeowners like Austin.

“We served 29,000 veterans last year through over 30 community programs, helping provide pathways to financial stability that create pathways to move into stable and secure homes,” Sampson said.

United Way teamed up with folks from Texas instruments and Habitat for Humanity to make this happen. Also making the play in helping out this DFW Vet is Dallas Cowboy legend Darren Woodson.

“It’s almost emotional for me to see a veteran get a house that’s in need,” Woodson said

Woodson has his own company to help vets get jobs after their service is over, “It’s important to me because I come from a family of Military veterans, and I understand how they served our country.”

So when this house is done, this hero can call this place home.


United Way, Darren Woodson & Volunteers from Local Companies Team up to Build a Dallas Veteran a Home

By Betsy Dixon, Park Cities BubbleLife (Source)

Home ownership has long been a symbol of the American Dream.  For too many of this country’s military heroes, the goal of becoming a homeowner is often out of reach.  To bring awareness to this issue on Veterans Day, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas partnered with Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity, Texas Instruments (TI) and other local corporations to host a very special Unite for Change initiative.  Over the course of 10 build dates, volunteers from TI, Energy Future Holdings and its family of companies including Luminant and TXU Energy, and La Quinta Inns & Suites will unite to complete building a home for a local veteran, Breana Austin, and her young son, Terran.

“Home ownership is an important milestone for any individual – one that promotes financial stability,” said Terri Grosh, TI worldwide employee engagement manager. “Too many veterans and their families have been unable to acquire an asset that serves as a foundation for stability.  Breana Austin’s story is a perfect example.  We think the men and women who work to safeguard our nation deserve a secure future.”

Austin, who was born and raised in Dallas, has served as a Patient Admin Specialist in the Texas Army National Guard since 2010.

Wednesday, November 11th marked a key day in the construction of her home, which is in Dallas’ close-knit Joppa community.  Volunteers were joined by Dallas Cowboys legend and newly-minted member of the Cowboys Ring of Honor Darren Woodson to raise the walls on the structure. The Austin family will receive the keys to their new home upon its completion in February.

“I’m proud to partner with United Way and Habitat for Humanity in providing a home for our heroes,” said Woodson.  “We’re coming together as a community to serve those who’ve so bravely served us.  They were there when we needed them and now it’s our turn to give back.”

“Veterans can face unique financial challenges when returning to civilian life- often struggling to find good jobs and secure stable homes,” said Jennifer Sampson, President and CEO of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. “Through collaboration with our corporate and community partners, United Way is committed to providing financial education and solutions to those who have served and sacrificed so much on our behalf, putting them on the path to long-term financial stability.  It’s an important investment in the men and women who put everything on the line for our country, and in the strength and security of our society as a whole.”

Additional collaborative events this fall highlight United Way’s focus on veterans. On November 18, United Way will host a private Financial Empowerment Toolkit Training for local nonprofits to help them better mentor clients and veterans on best financial practices.  And on October 27, United Way held an impactful networking event called “Chat. Connect. Repeat.” which brought together nonprofits, corporations and community stakeholders to discuss solutions for supporting struggling veterans.

With TI as the presenting sponsor, Unite for Change is a six-event, area-wide Community Impact Series focused on improving financial stability, education and health across North Texas.  Unite for Change will engage many local corporate partners in meaningful volunteer efforts over the next six months. The projects will help reach United Way’s 10-year community goals: preparing at least 60 percent of all kids to graduate ready to succeed, moving 250,000 people out of poverty permanently, and improving health across the region.


Vet’s Home Built on Veterans Day

By Nicholas Friedman, The Dallas Morning News, Print Edition

Vet's home built on Veterans Day


United Way, Darren Woodson & Volunteers from Local Companies Team up to Build a Dallas Veteran a Home

By Betsy Dixon, South Dallas BubbleLife (Source)

Home ownership has long been a symbol of the American Dream.  For too many of this country’s military heroes, the goal of becoming a homeowner is often out of reach.  To bring awareness to this issue on Veterans Day, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas partnered with Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity, Texas Instruments (TI) and other local corporations to host a very special Unite for Change initiative.  Over the course of 10 build dates, volunteers from TI, Energy Future Holdings and its family of companies including Luminant and TXU Energy, and La Quinta Inns & Suites will unite to complete building a home for a local veteran, Breana Austin, and her young son, Terran.

“Home ownership is an important milestone for any individual – one that promotes financial stability,” said Terri Grosh, TI worldwide employee engagement manager. “Too many veterans and their families have been unable to acquire an asset that serves as a foundation for stability.
Breana Austin’s story is a perfect example.  We think the men and women who work to safeguard our nation deserve a secure future.”Austin, who was born and raised in Dallas, has served as a Patient Admin Specialist in the Texas Army National Guard since 2010.Wednesday, November 11th marked a key day in the construction of her home, which is in Dallas’ close-knit Joppa community.
Volunteers were joined by Dallas Cowboys legend and newly-minted member of the Cowboys Ring of Honor Darren Woodson to raise the walls on the structure. The Austin family will receive the keys to their new home upon its completion in February.“I’m proud to partner with United Way and Habitat for Humanity in providing a home for our heroes,” said Woodson.  “We’re coming together as a community to serve those who’ve so bravely served us.  They were there when we needed them and now it’s our turn to give back.”
“Veterans can face unique financial challenges when returning to civilian life- often struggling to find good jobs and secure stable homes,” said Jennifer Sampson, President and CEO of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.
“Through collaboration with our corporate and community partners, United Way is committed to providing financial education and solutions to those who have served and sacrificed so much on our behalf, putting them on the path to long-term financial stability.  It’s an important investment in the men and women who put everything on the line for our country, and in the strength and security of our society as a whole.”
Additional collaborative events this fall highlight United Way’s focus on veterans. On November 18, United Way will host a private Financial Empowerment Toolkit Training for local nonprofits to help them better mentor clients and veterans on best financial practices.  And on October 27, United Way held an impactful networking event called “Chat. Connect. Repeat.” which brought together nonprofits, corporations and community stakeholders to discuss solutions for supporting struggling veterans.
With TI as the presenting sponsor, Unite for Change is a six-event, area-wide Community Impact Series focused on improving financial stability, education and health across North Texas.  Unite for Change will engage many local corporate partners in meaningful volunteer efforts over the next six months. The projects will help reach United Way’s 10-year community goals: preparing at least 60 percent of all kids to graduate ready to succeed, moving 250,000 people out of poverty permanently, and improving health across the region.