Volunteers transform Clearwater veteran’s yard, paint his house

Pinellas County

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) — Anthony Polvinale is a U.S. Marine veteran who needed some help moving some bushes in his Clearwater backyard.

So, imagine his surprise when an army of volunteers showed up at his home Wednesday morning.

The group of volunteers are with the Home Depot Foundation and the Abilities Foundation.

Polvinale says he was in shock.

“Well, I walked out this morning and I immediately had to go back inside and get a bite to eat and take my medicine. I just couldn’t,” said Polvinale. “It was like it was overwhelming.”

The volunteers pressure washed and painted the outside of the house and are landscaping the entire yard. They installed a playground in the backyard for Polvinale’s four-year-old son. They replaced the door locks and leveled the driveway to accommodate handicapped-accessible parking.

Dianne Ashcroft calls the work quite rewarding. “Love helping people, love seeing the smiles on their faces,” said Ashcroft. “They appreciate it and I appreciate helping them.”

Carl Roper is a Navy veteran who is also a volunteer.

“Being in the military, seeing what happened to veterans and I love my fellow veterans,” Roper said. “So, anytime I can get out here, I don’t care about the money. You just come out here. It’s from the heart. Being here to help someone who sacrificed so much for this country.”

Polvinale is still in disbelief.

“I’m still having trouble processing that this is actually happening. It’s pretty incredible,” Polvinale said. “I went into a dark place for a while, thinking that I was alone. But clearly, I”m not. “

Since 2011, volunteers with the Home Depot Foundation have transformed more than 45,000 homes and facilities for veterans across the country.

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