‘Mission Completed’ must have been the thought of our 60 volunteering colleagues from Marine & Protective Coatings in Houston when they finished a major renovation job for the American Legion Post 416. In honor of Veterans Day, they joined forces with other organizations for a ‘Celebration of Service Day’ to help Post 416 to better serve returning troops and veterans in the Houston, Texas Area.
Houston is the second city in the US, only behind Los Angeles, with the highest number of returning soldiers to their home country.
In collaboration with the City of Houston and other organizations, transition orientations classes are held at Post 416 for returning soldiers and veterans for their come back to civilian life.
The services provided by these organizations also have a positive impact lowering the rates of 3 main issues affecting veterans: high suicide rates among active duty soldiers and veterans averaging 18 a day, one-third of the adult homeless population is veterans, and high divorce rates amongst military families. Post 416 wants to create a healthy and inviting atmosphere to engage returning veterans in ways to support them and facilitate their re-integration into society.
The purpose of the American Legion since its inception in 1919 is to serve the needs of veterans of all wars, their widows, and dependent children. Post 416 was established in 1927 by World War veterans working at the Southern Pacific Lines Railroad Company. Post 416 is looking forward to host many veterans’ events and fundraisings benefiting veteran initiatives and the organizations that provide these services. Additionally, it is expected for this facility to quickly become a hub of community activity for other organizations and individuals in the surrounding Houston areas.
However, the condition of the facility was a deterrent for many people and did not support the vision and mission of the American Legion and Post 416. A renovation plan was designed and a wish list of the needed support and materials was drawn up to improve the interior and beautify the exterior appearance of the Post. Our colleagues from Marine & Protective Coatings decided to help and with the support of the Community Program and a substantial paint and paint supplies donation from Decorative Paints (Glidden Professional) 60 volunteering employees together with Post 416 personnel quickly completed the first coat of paint of the interior. With the help of professional painters the exterior of the 2-story building was painted and a total of 40 tables, 5 carts and a full heating system to comfortably hold events during the fall and winter were purchased.
The City of Houston and the organizations within American Legion’s Post 416 were extremely grateful and humbled by the willingness of our volunteering employees, family and friends to give up their weekend family time to support a great cause. In their words, they stated that ‘There are many volunteer opportunities that go unfinished in the Houston area because of a lack of funding. Due to the philanthropic actions of AkzoNobel (International Paint) and the involvement of its employees, the American Legion Post 416 is now able to better serve the veteran community. We at the City of Houston look to them as a model of the good corporate citizen and we look forward to working with them again in the future’. The volunteers were quite proud of their contributions which they regarded as a gesture to help pay tribute to the over 190,000 U.S. veterans men and women returning to the Greater Houston area from international mission, who make the Houston Area their home.