Going in and out of his second-story apartment is a struggle for U.S. Marine Corps veteran Jed Morgan. A roadside bomb in Afghanistan claimed both of his legs above the knee and left him with only partial use of his right hand.
“One of the biggest challenges is having to go up and down stairs any time I want to get out of the house,” Morgan said.
A friend brought Morgan’s story to Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors, a nonprofit group that builds and remodels homes to make them handicap accessible for veterans. Shortly after, a phone call from the organization’s founder, former NFL player Jared Allen, changed everything.
“Jared called me and said, ‘Hey, we want to build you a house,’” said Morgan.
Allen founded Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors after taking part in a USO tour. All the services it provides to veterans are free.
“I don’t think our service men and women who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan with debilitating injuries should be further hindered by wondering how they’ll function in homes that aren’t accessible,” said Allen.
One of Allen’s first calls when he set out to launch the nonprofit was to his financial advisor at Wells Fargo Advisors, who put him in touch with the firm’s area market manager, David Kistner. Kistner jumped at the opportunity to help.
“You have individuals who are double, triple amputees that are in wheelchairs or have prosthetic legs. It’s challenging. So giving them a home that provides them the ability to live a great life is truly inspiring,” Kistner said.
Wells Fargo has provided more than $120,000 to support seven home builds since 2011. Wells Fargo team members have contributed more than 470 volunteer hours toward the cause, both in “sweat equity” on the builds, and in sponsoring an annual golf tournament that is one of the nonprofit’s primary fundraisers.
“Wells Fargo has been amazing for us because it has been such a personal relationship,” said Allen. “It’s been from day one. They’ve never turned their back, never told us no, and we’ve pushed through and they continue to outdo themselves every year.”
For Morgan, who is expecting his second daughter with his wife Anna, the new home is a blessing.
“Being able to get out easily, and do the things I enjoy doing, and having a safe place for my family – that’s a huge sense of freedom for me,” he said.
Watch the three-minute video to see the Morgans touring their new home and visiting with some of the Wells Fargo volunteers who helped build it.