Volvo Rents, known for its philanthropic efforts with Homes for Our Troops (HFOT), has partnered with popular HGTV and DIY Network star Ahmed Hassan, best known as the creative host on “Yard Crashers.” Hassan will provide the landscaping and yard makeover for three homes being built and donated by HFOT with the help of Volvo Rents.
Volvo Rents and HFOT began construction in September on one of the homes in Temecula and the other two in El Cajon, Calif. The new custom homes have been designed to provide the severely injured veterans with maximum freedom of movement and the ability to live more independently.
Hassan, a licensed landscape contractor accustomed to doing blitz style makeovers, will work with Homes for Our Troops, Volvo Rents, the veterans, their friends and families, as well as the volunteers and organizations involved in the local communities.
Raised by parents who taught him to dream big and to do what you enjoy most in life, Hassan’s rural roots mixed with inner city upbringing give him the ability to connect with people of all walks of life and appreciate and admire those who work hard and sacrifice. A California native and resident, Hassan is on familiar grounds and working with familiar faces at Volvo Rents.
“I’ve been a long time customer of Volvo Rents,” said Hassan. “When I learned about their partnership with Homes for Our Troops and what they were doing to help better the lives our service men and women, I immediately decided to get involved. I knew this project and the cause driving it was something I could definitely help with.”
Receiving a new home in Temecula, Calif., is Army SSG Wallace Fanene, who returned home from his second deployment to Iraq after losing his right leg and right lower arm in an IED explosion. A husband and father, Fanene said the new custom home will “take away the last margin of struggle I have had to obtain my normal life again.”
Neighboring homes being built in El Cajon, Calif., will provide the same relief to Marine Cpl Travis Greene and Army SGT Odin Ayala. Greene returned home from his third deployment to Iraq when he sustained significant injuries during an IED attack while assisting in a med-evac of another wounded Marine. The injuries resulted in the amputation of both Cpl. Green’s legs.
Returning home from his third deployment to Afghanistan, Army SGT Odin Ayala sustained significant injuries after stepping on an IED while on foot patrol, causing him to lose both of his legs and substantial injuries to his left hand. Still undergoing treatment and therapy for his injuries, Ayala said the home will help him focus on his recovery and his future.
“Since partnering with Homes for Our Troops in 2011, we have had the opportunity to help build custom homes for nearly 50 veterans,” said Matt Tavianini, vice president of sales and marketing of Volvo Rents. “It is something that resonates so deeply with all of us here and we could not be more grateful to not only work with our nation’s heroes, but to be able to give something back to them is invaluable.”
Additional sponsors donating everything from manpower to hand tools, to irrigation installation and funding for the projects include local businesses Hunter Industries, Village Nurseries, Corona Tools and Genie Industries.