LendUS has partnered with the Military Makeover series, hosted by Montel Williams, airing on Lifetime TV for a second time. The first time we partnered with the show, our LendUS team flew down and helped the Burgess family in Cape Coral, Florida. This time, a few of our LendUS employees spent a week in mid-March in Deerfield Beach, Florida, to volunteer their time to help the Daniels family.
Michael Daniels joined the Marine Corps after September 11, 2001, during which time he spent two tours and four years in Iraq. During these tours, Michael went through tough invasions, including a month-long battle in the largest Muslim cemetery globally, Wadi-us-Salaam, in August 2004. For his valiant efforts, Michael received the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with a “V” for valor. However, due to his service, Michael now has knee, back, ankle, and multiple brain injuries in addition to PTSD.
His wife, Heather Kametler Daniels, was an anesthesia technician from 2013 to 2018 and started working as a Neuro Intensive Care Registered Nurse in March 2020 when COVID-19 started. Together, they recently bought their first house in Deerfield Beach, FL. They planned on getting married in May 2020; however, COVID-19 forced them to cancel this plan. Instead, they took the opportunity and got married at the courthouse.
LendUS is proud to help Veterans and their families like the Daniels and is honored to have been able to help make their home renovation a reality. Several of our LendUS employees told us about their experience volunteering with Military Makeover.
Anthony Ramacciotti, a fellow Marine Corps Veteran and Loan Advisor at the Roseville, CA Branch of LendUS, loved seeing how the community pitched in to help the Daniels family. “It was amazing to be able to help a fellow Marine Corps Veteran and his family. From the minute I stepped on site, it was like a family was already established within the volunteers. Getting to know the hard-working volunteers, the local companies, and the Military Makeover team was a great experience. The production team was great, funny and man do they work hard too,” said Ramacciotti. “I’m proud to be part of a company that gives back to its Veterans, not just with helping families with a VA loan, but just to give back when we can because sometimes, that’s just as life-changing for a family. “
Christina Walker, one of our Senior Loan Processors at RPM Mortgage, didn’t have to travel very far for this experience. Since she lives in Florida and loves it, she went the extra mile to help the renovations come to life by helping set up the décor like light fixtures, the patio furniture, and the last coats of paint. “I support our military to the fullest and felt it was only right to help out for someone who has fought for our country,” said Walker. “It made me feel really good that I could help out and would do it again in a heartbeat.”
As LendUS’s Social Media Marketing Coordinator, Samantha Marti was tasked with capturing the whole experience for everyone in the LendUS family of companies to experience. “The most rewarding aspect of the entire experience was the look on the couple’s face when they walked up the driveway to their new home, greeted by loved ones they hadn’t seen due to Covid-19,” said Marti. “I’m very much looking forward to the next one.”
Jared Paul, a fellow Marine Corps Veteran and the Area Sales Manager at the Gilbert, AZ Branch of LendUS, volunteered last time for the Burgess family episode of Military Makeover. “Doing [Military Makeover] a second time was just affirmation that there are many great people in the world and that LendUS is part of this with Veterans and all the communities we serve,” said Paul. “I appreciate [Veterans’] sacrifice… every day, not just in words, but in actions. Military Makeover celebrates patriots, and as a patriot myself, I want to always be part of this process.”
Some of the tasks Paul did during this episode were shoveling rock, hanging lighting fixtures, and building a desk out of butcher block. When funds were running out, Paul and fellow volunteer and LendUS’s Creative Director, Jim Hawksworth, offered to donate their personal funds to design and build a special headboard out of the same butcher block they used for the Daniels’ desk. “We got outside of our comfort zone, and we felt amazing with the finished product, and knowing that it would be something that this Veteran family would see every night when they went to bed, and every morning when they got up to start their day. It is things like this that make the event special,” said Paul.
Jim Hawksworth was grateful for the experience to give back. “Working with Military Makeover has been an awesome experience to actively make a difference in the lives of US Military Veterans and their families in need,” said Hawksworth. “Teaming up with our amazing LendUS Volunteer Team, as well as other companies’ volunteers, and the Military Makeover production team has truly been an honor, collectively coming together to serve those who served us.”
Make sure to watch the Daniels’ Military Makeover episode, which premieres on May 21st, 2021, at 7:30 am ET. You can also watch it again on May 28th, June 4th, June 11th, and June 18th at 7:30 am ET.