Group ensures vets have a home sweet home

SOUTHINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — Laura Mazzadra is spending her Memorial Day weekend helping to renovate a home in Southington. Why? There’s a veteran who lives there.

“A lot of my friends are from the military and I have a soft spot in my heart for those people,” Mazzadra said. “They do so much for us and this is my way of giving back to them.”

It’s all part of an operation carried out by House of Heroes Connecticut, an organization that honors military service and sacrifice by providing home repairs and updates to veterans in the state — at no charge.

“Really we honor the family as well because when the soldiers deploy their family members sacrifice, so we not only include the veterans but the spouses and surviving family as well,” said House of Heroes Chairman Bill May.

The homes are chosen through an application process. From there, a team of volunteers will assemble and help anyway they can.

“We come in and we analyze the house for safety, accessibility and sustainability,” said House of Heroes Vice Chairman Steve Cavanaugh. “In (the Southington) house, they had no (carbon dioxide) detectors and they have a young child.”

“We’ll be doing interior, exterior painting, landscaping,” May said. “We’ll be replacing the electricity in this house with 200 amp service.”

The Southington project was one of two taking place in town on Saturday. Three more are scheduled for next week in surrounding towns.

The Connecticut chapter of House of Heroes started back in 2012. As of today, they’ve completed work on 30 homes. It’s an experience that’s not only rewarding for the veterans but also those who devote their time.

“My father-in-law was in World War II, my father was a veteran and this is a way for me to give back because I wasn’t in any wars or ever drafted,” Cavanaugh said.

“It’s just a good day,” Mazzadra said. “It makes you feel good, that’s what it’s all about.”

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