Welcome Home: A mission of love

As January ends and you turn your calendar to February, you can’t escape love. February brings you Valentine’s day; this means stores and homes filled with hearts, flowers, and yes – love. While it is definitely a busy month for all things cupid – Caliber Home Loans had a head start for the big day. This January we surprised an active duty military spouse with a backyard makeover. 

Mission of Love St. Louis On January 1, 2020 we began a yearlong partnership with Maria Reed, founder and CEO of Moving with the Military, a television series celebrating military families with surprise home makeovers. Reed is an Army spouse herself and seeks to tell the stories of military families while bridging the divide between the civilian and military world. We saw this as a unique opportunity to give back to the military community and spread a little, you guessed it – love! 

Selecting a Family for the Show

January’s Caliber-sponsored makeover was for Catherine Vandament, an Air Force spouse. She was nominated due to her passion and commitment to serving others. For the past few years, she has opened her home every Friday night to her neighborhood and nearby military base for the sharing of a meal, conversation, and friendship. She does this through utilizing a turquoise table, which is a movement that tells those who see that they are welcome. It is an open invitation to pull up a seat and sit together in friendship and love. Vandament believes strongly in the power of community – a belief Caliber deeply shares. According to Caliber Senior Vice President Bryan Bergjans, this project demonstrates that we intend to put our money where our words are – into actions. He also stated that this was the perfect way for us to showcase our commitment to military families.

Beginning the mission for a backyard makeover

So, on a cold January morning, Reed and a few friends ambushed Vandament on camera – with the help of her very supportive husband. She initially thought she was helping with a separate makeover project, never guessing that she herself was going to receive the gift from Caliber. She was in disbelief, shock, and at loss for words after being told she would be receiving the backyard makeover. While Caliber absolutely wants to be your military mortgage provider – even if they don’t have your business, they are going to pick up some tools and help welcome you home. 

USO Truck Volunteers from our branch outside St. Louis, Caldwell Banker, and the local Scott Air Force Base came out in droves after Vandament left her home in the capable hands of Reed and her team. Not only did the community rally for this military family; the USO also wanted to join in on the fun and support the makeover project for this Air Force family. They showed up with their mobile USO food truck halfway through the day to feed the volunteers and brought smiles to all. The day was filled with teamwork and a shared commitment to create something special that the Vandament family would never forget. 

By late afternoon fairy lights were twinkling above the volunteers making final touches. The scene was set with a roaring fire, shimmering candles, and tables set for the beautiful surprise. When the makeover was revealed to the family, the air was filled with happy tears, sounds of awe, and laughter. It was a special moment; one Caliber was honored to sponsor for the Vandament family. Caliber has received the Military Friendly® brand four years in a row for our commitment to military families. We were proud to be a part of this moment and to be able to say: welcome home. 

Looking for opportunities to spread love and kindness

Some ideas from Caliber on how you can give back this Valentine’s Day:

  1. Volunteer for those in need
  2. Use those heart filled cards you see in the stores to leave kind notes for strangers
  3. Help raise funds for your favorite charity
  4. Donate your gently used items to your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or shelter
  5. Remember to thank those that serve by sending a care package to troops deployed overseas

To see the Air Force family’s made-over backyard, click here.