Gifting A Home To A Hero | Holiday Builders
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Over the course of the past ten months, we've had the honor of partnering with a non-profit organization to build and gift a new home to a wounded veteran. The project is now complete. This is an overview of the path to building a home for a hero.

Early in 2021, Holiday Builders was asked by Building Homes for Heroes, a non-profit organization, to partner in building a home that would be gifted, mortgage-free to a wounded veteran. Holiday Builders agreed and immediately reached out to longtime trade partners for support. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Soon, a mighty team of dedicated professionals set about to build a dream home.

Building Homes for Heroes introduced Holiday Builders to Sergeant Army First Class John Goudie (RET), the veteran who would receive a home. We talked to John and his wife about their family, lifestyle, and needs. Together, we selected a floorplan and a homesite in the neighborhood of Windswept Estates in Freeport, FL.

We asked our designers at Builders Design to create interior paint finishes for the home. The company jumped on board, expressing a desire to contribute much more. It was then Holiday Builders and Builders Design decided to partner in fully furnishing the home. The Builders Design team created a highly personalized plan ensuring the home's interior design was suitable for John and Kristi's specific needs. 

We formally kicked off the Goudie home build project with a May 2021 groundbreaking ceremony. It would be the last time the couple would see the home before the gifting. Holiday Builders Project Manager Josh Ryals kept the job on track, providing photos of construction milestones and progress reports to the Building Homes for Heroes team.

Finally, on October 2nd, it was time for the Gifting Ceremony. John and Kristi Goudie were led to their new home in a long procession of motorcyclists, fire and rescue workers, veterans, and neighbors riding in cars and golf carts, with sirens blaring and horns honking. A crowd of neighbors, Holiday Builders employees, Building Homes for Heroes team members, local officials, and well-wishers flanked the street, welcoming the procession by waving American flags and shouting with joy. When the Goudie’s van pulled up to the drive, and their children peered out the car windows, every heart melted. It was a special moment, an honor to witness.

Andy Pujol, the founder of Building Homes for Heroes, greeted the family with open arms.  He then guided the family to a row of seats placed by a podium at the front door. A series of speeches commenced. Attendees listened to remarks by Building Homes for Heroes and the Mayor of Freeport. Then, Holiday Builders' top management team members addressed the crowd, including Division President David Armacost, President Rich Brown, and CEO Bruce Assam. Lastly, John and Kristi Goudie spoke, humbled, grateful, and a bit overwhelmed by the magnitude of the day. What followed was a blur. Building Homes for Heroes' Kim Valdyke announced it was time to enter the home and the Goudie family stepped across the threshold for the first time. It felt like we were watching a designer home reveal television show.
Holiday Builders support the arts, community assistance programs, educational and sports programs in communities where we build homes. In this instance, we had the opportunity to work with Building Homes for Heroes, a reputable, powerful veterans organization. We were able to be part of a life-changing event -  providing a forever home to someone who served our country. We are grateful for the partnership and the outcome. Welcome home, John and Kristi.