In September 2012 the Trumbull Rotary Club announced their plans for an ambitious Habitat for Heroes project to build a home in Bridgeport for a veteran’s family. The project was co-sponsored by Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County. With this project the Trumbull Rotary Club became the founding sponsor of the first ‘Habitat for Heroes’ initiative in Connecticut.
The first phase of the project was completed in mid-October 2012 when the two non-profit organizations raised the initial $50,000 required for ground breaking. The Trumbull Rotary Club contributed $22,000 in challenge matching funding.
On Veterans Day, November 11, 2012, The Trumbull Rotary Club and Habitat for Humanity broke ground and began excavating the building lot. The building lot was donated by the city of Bridgeport.
In March 2013 Trumbull Rotarians were the first workers to help construct walls for the structure on a ‘build day’. The Rotarians were joined by other civic and veterans organizations, as well as local businesses and individuals. There would be a number of additional hands-on ‘build days’ that Trumbull Rotarians actively participated in during the construction of the home.
The Heroes House was completed and dedicated on Veterans Day 2013 this past November, just 1 year after the ground breaking. Army Staff Sgt. Juliet Taylor is now living in her new home with her two sons, daughter and grandson. Taylor has served more than 11 years of active service, including an 18-month tour in Iraq and two humanitarian tours in Afghanistan.
This initiative got started after Past President Jim Malski came back from NE PETS and challenged the Club membership to come up with a meaningful multi-year project benefiting the surrounding Trumbull community and having a significant impact on someone or some persons. The Club voted on Malski’s proposal and Past Presidents Bill Zeidenberg, Mike Rappa and John McBride took led the project from conception in Jim’s year to completion this Rotary year under Holly Sutton-Darr’s Presidency.
The completed project cost approximately $150,000 plus a considerable amount of donated labor.
The Trumbull Rotary Club led the way in helping to raise the initial $50,000 required to break ground, they also provided project oversight, ‘hands-on’ labor during build days and they assisted Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County in raising the additional $100,000 required.
Update: The Trumbull Rotary Club has agreed to assist a second house and they hope to have the initial ‘ground breaking’ funds raised by 2/14/2014. Interested in helping out, partnering or donating? Then contact Past President Bill Zeidenberg via email.