American Legion Post 31 vice commander Jack McHugh says the organization’s No. 1 concern is helping veterans. A recent grant may help make that goal even more attainable.
Home Depot awarded Post 31 with a $9,200 grant, which went toward renovations to the group’s Hamilton headquarters on South Olden Avenue. The company often works with veteran organizations, donating time, money and materials to groups across the country.
The grant money went toward supplies, new appliances and outdoor landscaping, all provided and installed by Home Depot volunteers. The inside of the building got a new paint job, and Post 31 was able to purchase a new stove and refrigerator using gift cards donated by the store.
“It’s really nice,” McHugh said. “We never would have gotten it done if it wasn’t for them.”
McHugh, who served in the United States Marine Corps, has been a member of Post 31 for over 30 years. He said the organization “doesn’t have much money” and is losing members every year—the renovations would not have been financially possible without the grant money. Still, McHugh said the organization is always recruiting new members.
“It’s nice to know that in this fast-paced world we’re living in, some of the more senior members of the post realize that they haven’t been overlooked,” member Bob Murphy said.
Renovations started Oct. 17. Murphy learned about the grant opportunity a few months before and got into contact with Al Quinn, assistant manager at the Home Depot in Ewing, who helped with the application process. Quinn got in touch with vendors and worked with Post 31 to determine exactly what materials were needed.
“It’s been great,” said Murphy, an Army veteran who has been a member of Post 31 for two years. “It’s really enjoyable. I love the enthusiasm that these young people have.”
If the grant hadn’t been approved, Quinn said he and other Home Depot staff members would have been available to help members of Post 31 complete projects like painting the interior. But the grant money allowed Quinn, eastern vice president Ro Rodriguez, district manager Stanley Labady, store manager Chris O’Neill, paint department manager Harriett Cooper, lumber department manager Brian Huff, associates Joe Ocasio and Ehrin Jannell and others to work on a wider array of services.
For Quinn, he says it’s the least he can do.
“The company does things like this to help veterans all the time,” he said. “If it wasn’t for our veterans, things would be very different in this country.”