This month, Long Island landscape design company Above All Masonry launches the Welcome Home project, a community service program that will provide, completely free of charge, a landscaping makeover to a deserving Long Island family in need. While similar programs and non-profits exist in the home remodel industry, Above All Masonry's Welcome Home project is the first of its kind by a landscaping company on Long Island. Co-owner Lisbeth Bono explains the origin of the program's name: "We hear so many stories of returning veterans or the disabled not being able to enjoy their own home. Sometimes it's a stoop that doesn't offer wheelchair access. Or maybe it's just a backyard that's an eyesore. In all these cases, their home, a place that should be a place of refuge, is not welcoming. We want to put the 'Welcome' back in front of 'Home.'"
The beneficiary of the Welcome Home project will not pay for any services or materials associated with the donated remodel. "It's important to us that this stay free of charge," explains co-owner Stephen Bono. "Often, it's the people that deserve these improvements the most that can't afford then. We've been creating these beautiful outdoor spaces for so many of our clients for years now and it was time for us to start giving back to these people in our community—the people that give so much—the veterans, the firefighters, the social workers, the police officers, the community volunteers."
For this year's Welcome Home project, which Above All Masonry plans to develop into an annual event, a Long Island veteran, injured in Iraq, and his family will receive a complete remodel of their home's landscaping.
Complete installation services will be donated by the Islandia-based Above All Masonry. Designing With Elements in Bohemia, NY, a frequent collaborator with the company, will be contributing complimentary design services to the project. Pavers and wall stones will be donated by masonry manufacturer Unilock, based in Brewster, NY. And lava stone and a granite countertop will be provided by MGO Stone, also located in Islandia, NY.
Lighting manufacturer Kichler has also offered lighting fixtures. "The Kichler rep that we met with was really touched by the project," Lis Bono explains. "His stepson is a vet who had a hard time restarting his life after he came back from Iraq. The Welcome Home project really hit home for him."
Above All Masonry plans to introduce the program's recipient in October, and have the project completed and ready to share with the community and media on Veteran's Day. The company will be documenting the Welcome Home project's progress on their website, AboveAllMasonry.com. For media inquiries, please contact Lis Bono at Above All Masonry at (631) 664-8369.