Simpson Strong-Tie is a leader in structural systems research and technology and is one of the largest suppliers of structural building products in the world. But on a beautiful spring day in North Texas, several Simpson Strong-Tie employees weren’t inventing the latest structural system. Instead, they were installing their products free of charge in two homes to be donated to disabled veterans.
“Simpson Strong-Tie helps people build safer structures economically,” says Cyndi Chandler, National Accounts Manager for Simpson Strong-Tie. “We do this by engineering and manufacturing ‘No Equal’ structural connectors and other related products. On both [of the soldier’s] homes we will be installing some of our connector and anchor products to reinforce some of the connections and to provide additional strength if the structures are exposed to high winds during a storm.”
Simpson Strong-Tie proudly supports Smiles Charity, a McKinney based charity whose mission is raise money to build homes for deserving local families by bringing the community together. Smiles Charity, who in the past has funded the build of three Habitat for Humanity homes, is now partnering with Operation Finally Home to build mortgage free homes for severely wounded soldiers. One of the soldiers receiving a home from Smiles Charity this year is Alan Hornaday who was not available due to recurring pain from his injuries, and the other is Levi Wilson who was on site with Simpson Strong-Tie to see the upgrades made to his home.
On January 18th, 2008 Levi was severely wounded by an IED while riding in a Stryker vehicle. After the blast, Levi woke to find himself pinned under the metal and in the middle of an ambush. The ambush hindered medical evacuation and Levi remained pinned until an air strike cleared the insurgents. Surviving a broken back and multiple broken bones, he endured months of surgeries and therapy while at the same time earning his Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
Throughout his military career, Levi was awarded several awards including the Purple Heart and the National Defense Service Medal. “I am honored to be receiving a home,” says Mr. Wilson. Operation Finally Home Dan Wallrath founder and president says, “There are 38,000 soldiers returning home with life altering injuries. We won’t stop building homes until we’ve built one for each of them.”
Smiles Charity has raised awareness by successfully hosting its first annual Fashion Show in February and the Casino Night in March. Upcoming events include the Rock Roll and Smile Fun Run on May 14 8:30am during which live music will be played along the 5K course. The annual Smiles Charity Concert and Family Festival will be held May 29, 2011 5:00-10:00 pm (Memorial Day Weekend) and will again feature a WWII airplane flyover, kids area with festival games and activities, three live bands on the main stage, a tribute to fallen soldiers, a presentation to families receiving homes, and a brilliant fireworks display.
Build a Home, Create a Smile
Simpson Strong-Tie products make the connections in a house stronger. This allows the structure to withstand high winds during storms. Visit www.strongtie.com for more information.
Smiles Charity and Operation Finally Home are two non-profit organizations teaming up to build homes for disabled veterans. Smiles Charity raises the money and awareness through several community events, and Operation Finally Home manages the actual construction.
“Simpson Strong-Tie helps people build safer structures economically,” says Cyndi Chandler, National Accounts Manager for Simpson Strong-Tie.