Helping veterans isn’t anything new for Tim and Mary Rosengarten.
Their company, Armcorp Construction, Inc., of Celina, Ohio, is a service disabled, veteran owned business that strives to employ veterans of the United States Armed Forces. Since establishing the business in 2009, they’ve made it a priority to donate to a variety of military organizations.
So when they came across Lots for Soldiers, a non-profit that donates residential lots to current and former members of the military, it seemed like a natural fit.
“It’s a great organization,” Mary Rosengarten said. “It’s been wonderful to be a part of so far.”
Tim Rosengarten explained that he was quick to support the Lots for Soldiers mission because helping veterans is a passion of his. That’s one of the reasons why Armcorp makes hiring veterans a priority.
“I’m a vet. I want to help other veterans because I know what it’s like coming out of the military, not knowing what to do, not having a direction,” he said. “And giving them the opportunity to start off in the civilian world—that’s what I want to do. That right there is my passion.”
Mary added that they have seen firsthand the struggle veterans sometimes go through when the time comes to adjust to civilian life after service in the military.
“It makes us want to help other people coming out,” she said. “A lot of people come out and have no idea what to do. If we can give them that opportunity to come on board, it’s a great thing.”
Through Armcorp, Tim and Mary Rosengarten have helped several veterans join the civilian workforce. And now, through their work with Lots for Soldiers, they’re helping veterans and current servicepersons build their dream homes.
The partnership began in 2015. After learning that Armcorp was veteran-owned, Lots for Soldiers approached the Rosengartens to see if they would be willing to help with future projects.
“We decided that the first house that was being built, we would donate the brick in the front,” Mary, now a board member, said.
She explained that what struck her and her husband about Lots for Soldiers was the amount of community involvement. While the lots themselves are donated, the recipients must be able to finance the houses. However, families normally end up paying less than the value of the house thanks to generous donations of both money and time.
“It’s a neat concept,” she said. “People come forward and donate—not just money, but time and material, and that keeps the cost down for the family.”
Not everyone can donate a residential lot or building materials, but everyone has something to contribute. For example, on a recent home build, Mary remembers a group of nurses coming in to do the landscaping.
“It was so cool. They had the best time over there,” she said. “There are so many people out there that are donating.”
“It’s outstanding,” Tim agreed. “The amount of time people donate is just outstanding.”
Donating to organizations that benefit military personnel is near and dear to the Rosengartens’ hearts, and not just because Tim himself is a veteran — their family legacy is one of service. Tim’s grandfather was a World War II veteran and his father a Vietnam War veteran. Tim’s brother served in both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy. Their son, Kelby Rosengarten, was recently made staff sergeant in the U.S. Air Force.
“A majority of our work is military establishments and VA hospitals,” Tim said of his construction company. “We enjoy helping vets. We feel that by working on VA hospitals, in some way we’re helping them to have a better place to go for their medical needs.”
He explained that every job presents an opportunity to pay it forward.
“The way I look at it, every job is giving us a better opportunity to donate to charity, to VFWs, American Legions, any kind of military establishment or organization,” he said.
As we’ve mentioned, the Rosengartens have donated to Lots For Soldiers before – but this time they’ve really outdone themselves. They recently donated an office building in Celina for the organization to use, which will be opening soon.
“The generosity of the Rosengartens is an example of the need of the general citizenry to pay back our collective debt of gratitude for the sacrifices of those that have served so bravely in the United States Armed Forces,” Lots For Soldiers co-founder Homer Burnett said. “It is impossible to fully understand the burden that these brave men and women volunteered to carry on our behalf, all that they left behind to serve in far away locations in our stead and the difficulties that they faced as they returned and tried to fit back into our society. Tim Rosengarten faithfully faced all this and has such a strong passion for his fellow service men and women that he and Mary have dedicated their energies and talents to pay it backwards and forwards. Tim and Mary are truly deserving of our deep thanks. They are an invaluable asset to Lots For Soldiers and to all those that we serve.”
Mary Rosengarten explained that since its founding in 2014, the organization has grown by leaps and bounds. But to keep costs down, the volunteers have been operating without a home base, instead meeting at homes and area churches to discuss current and future projects. The new office space is currently under renovation but will soon be enormously useful as a meeting place, reference center, and storage facility.
The gift of the office is an extraordinary one. However, Tim and Mary Rosengarten don’t have any plans to stop giving. In fact, Tim has a very specific goal in mind.
“My goal is to actually hand a set of keys to a veteran without any loan,” he said. “And I’m going to do it. It’s been my goal for a long time. A lot of people think I’m silly, but it means a lot to me. As long as we have a great group of people and we’re helping good people, then that’s better than any piece of money you could grab on to.”
Anyone who is serving in the armed forces or has been honorably discharged is eligible to apply for a lot. The Rosengartens stressed that it isn’t limited to disabled veterans.
“That’s what a lot of veterans don’t get,” Mary said. “They don’t feel like they’re deserving because they’re not disabled or they weren’t injured. It’s not about that at all. It’s just about thanking them. They are deserving.”
“Our country has been protected by veterans,” Tim said. “And who could deserve a nice place to live any more than them?”