WOW, I had an amazing trip up to Michigan to take part in The Home Depot Foundation’s Celebration of Service 2012! I still can’t believe that I was asked to be part of this campaign, it’s so surreal. I have to admit I was a little nervous heading up to MI since it was my first official event as a blogger. I’ve told you before how sometimes I struggle to let go of my former engineer self, how I get that deer-in-the-headlights look when people ask me what I do. Yes, I went to college. No, I don’t go to work. No, I don’t have kids either…

I’m still inclined to believe that most of the people who read my ramblings are either friends or related to me. Being asked to participate in the Celebration of Service events really changed the way I see my blog. It’s not just a hobby. It gives me a way to reach out to my readers with not only the usual DIY-related content, but also to introduce you to amazing work being done by others.

I don’t know that I’ve met anyone more passionate about making a difference than Jennifer Petre, founder of Stiggy’s Dogs–  except maybe the members of Team Depot from 9 stores in her area. Team Depot, The Home Depot Foundation, countless veterans, and 12 bloggers descended upon Howell, MI to help Jennifer renovate the Stiggy’s Dogs facility to better serve the mission: Rescuing One To Rescue Another.

Jennifer and her team seek out rescue dogs to train as psychiatric service dogs for veterans diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and/or TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). She has turned this beautiful piece of property into a safe haven for veterans and their families.

When we arrived at Stiggy’s Dogs, it was quite obvious that people had been working long before we got there!

In the spirit of Home Depot’s commitment to improving the lives of veterans, CEO Frank Blake came ready to work in a Team Depot T-shirt. We were fortunate enough to sit down with him for a little Q&A…covering everything from workplace culture to Pinterest!

After breakfast, we took a tour of the property, which includes pretty much anything you’d want to do outdoors: a fishing pond, gardens, fire pit, trails, and picnic tables.

I’ll be back later in the week to tell you more about what we did at the facility, specifically some of the energy saving projects (which you can do yourself at home!) and wheelchair accessible modifications. For now, here’s a group shot of us with Stiggy’s Founder Jennifer (yellow hoodie, center) and trainer extraordinaire Donna (front, center).

Photo courtesy of Ashley@The Handmade Home

Here are the other bloggers who attended the event:

Brown Paper Packages
Military Avenue
The Handmade Home
The New Normal
Witty Little Secret
Not Just a Housewife
In My Own Style
My Repurposed Life
Decor Chick
24/7 Moms
Beneath My Heart


Disclosure: The Home Depot partnered with bloggers such as me for their Celebration of Service Blog Network. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any product mentioned in these posts. The Home Depot believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

7 Responses

  1. gail

    It was so nice to meet you under such wonderful circumstances Rachael! The Home Depot is doing a wonderful thing, but that doesn’t surprise me, I’m such a fan!
    Hope we get to see one another again.


    • Rachael Evans

      You too, Gail! I didn’t think it was possible to love HD even more than I already did LOL!

  2. Traci

    It was so great to meet you! It was such a wonderful and inspiring event. Can’t wait to do it again. 🙂


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