Running back Christian McCaffrey, Lowe's and the Panthers shared plans to create a new lounge space at the Veterans Bridge Home (VBH) as part of his Home Team project with Lowe's and the Panthers during the NFL's Salute to Service celebration.
VBH is a Charlotte-based organization that connects veterans and their families from across the Carolinas to rebuild their purpose, connections, and support after-military service.
"Housing and shelter are our number one issue," said Tommy Norman, VBH founder and chair of the board. "About 35 percent of everything that we do is related to that these days. That's one of the reasons Lowe's is so critically important to us. We don't think that's going to change any time either. We're seeing about 2,000 families each year."
Added VBH executive director Blake Bourne:
"The idea is to highlight the military, make a place that's welcoming, open, community-friendly and with better lighting, better seating, much more open office space for not only our partners in the community that are there to support veterans, but also for veterans themselves and their friends to connect. By creating this lounge and this space, we sort of feel like it's a living room or a way to bring everyone together that cares about and has served in the military."
The organization's new office is set to open in early 2021. The lounge will provide a welcoming space for veterans looking to connect to the community and find resources for housing and jobs and other social determinants of health.
In September, Lowe's named McCaffrey a co-captain for the Lowe's Home Team, a group of current NFL players representing every team in the league, coming together to unite fans around the connection and community craved during football season. As part of the initiative, every Home Team player will complete worthy community projects in their NFL city.
While McCaffrey is unable to join the project in-person due to the ongoing pandemic, he looks forward to speaking with VBH families soon and will provide autographed memorabilia for display in the lounge.