NewDay USA Foundation and its philanthropic partner Renovating Hope announced that this month they will put the finishing touches on a three-month long, major home repair and renovation project undertaken for wounded veteran U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Sal Callender, his wife Esmay, and their two young children in Halethorpe, Md. NewDay USA Foundation served as the lead sponsor for the project, providing nearly $100,000 in much-needed funds to complete Phase I of the project. Employees from NewDay USA, one of the nation’s leading VA mortgage companies, also offered a helping hand.
Over a recent weekend, more than 30 employees and their family members worked as painters and landscapers at the project site. They also installed a custom 24-foot tall flagpole and raised the American flag. The NewDay USA volunteers received a welcome into the Callender home. “There are no words that can describe what you have done for me and my family,” Staff Sergeant Sal Callender told NewDay USA. “I have never felt more appreciated for my service to our nation than I do today.”
In his 14-year career in the U.S. Army, SSG. Callender was deployed in Korea, the Philippines Afghanistan and Iraq. While in Iraq, he and his troops encountered an improvised explosive device. SSG. Callender suffered traumatic battlefield that required long-term treatment and rehabilitation at Walter Reed Hospital. Nine of his comrades did not survive the attack.
“The opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of the Callender family is an honor and a privilege. I think everyone at NewDay USA who shared time and effort on this home renovation project felt personally connected to members of the military services who have sacrificed so much in service to our country,” said John Fenzel, (Colonel, USA Ret.), President of the NewDay USA Foundation.
The Callender’s home renovation, which began in March, included major roof reconstruction, new siding, windows and landscaping. The interior home now has two remodeled bedrooms and a bathroom on the second floor, a finished basement, and a new kitchen, among other needed repairs and updates.
Earlier this year, the NewDay USA Foundation was proud to announce its $1 million commitment to helping Renovating Hope in its work to honor and assist America’s heroes in need. The Foundation, a tax-exempt private foundation, serves as the principal instrument of philanthropy for NewDay USA. The Foundation's primary philanthropic mission is to provide grants and charitable contributions to nonprofit organizations that support veterans, active-duty service members and military families.