Lowe's and Habitat for Humanity to rebuild homes, hope through disaster-recovery projects in Alabama and Indiana

ATLANTA, Oct. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Lowe's Heroes from seven Lowe's stores will descend upon Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Henryville, Ind., beginning Oct. 8 to join Habitat for Humanity in a disaster-recovery initiative to rebuild seven homes in communities devastated by tornadoes in 2011 and 2012. The construction projects, funded by a $500,000 grant from Lowe's, will bring together Lowe's Heroes employee volunteers, community organizations, schools and local leaders to build affordable housing in partnership with low-income families.

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In Tuscaloosa, Lowe's Heroes will build in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Tuscaloosa and five low-income families affected by the EF-4 tornado that destroyed more than 4,000 homes on April 27, 2011. The City of Tuscaloosa estimates roughly 70 percent of the destroyed homes provided shelter for low-income families.

Lowe's Heroes also will build in partnership with New Albany/Floyd County Habitat for Humanity and two low-income families in Henryville. An EF-4 tornado cut a 50-mile path through Southern Indiana on March 2, 2012, destroying 200 homes and damaging 1,000 more. The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates that 53 percent of families affected by this tornado were low-income.

"Responding to natural disasters and helping rebuild affected communities with our partner, Habitat for Humanity, shows Lowe's deep commitment to recovery," said Joan Higginbotham, Lowe's director of community relations. "Lending a helping hand in times of need is a promise Lowe's has made to our neighbors for many years. Habitat volunteers and Lowe's Heroes will work together to build alongside these families, helping them continue to recover and move forward in safe, secure homes. Our hope is many of these families can be in their new homes around the holidays."

Lowe's also supported tornado recovery in Tuscaloosa and Henryville by donating more than $780,000 to the American Red Cross. Lowe's Heroes responded by distributing critically needed cleanup supplies and providing hands-on help to families and communities recovering from the disasters.

Lowe's is a longtime supporter of Habitat for Humanity's disaster-recovery efforts, providing nearly $5 million to Habitat disaster-recovery programs since 2005. The rebuilding projects in Tuscaloosa and Henryville are funded through Lowe's current five-year, $20 million pledge to Habitat for Humanity, which includes grant programs, how-to clinics and underwriting for Habitat's Women Build program.

About Lowe's

Lowe's supports the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. The company's signature education grant program, Lowe's Toolbox for Education®, has donated nearly $5 million in grants to K-12 public schools every year since its inception in 2006. Lowe's Heroes employee volunteers support local community projects and our national nonprofit partners such as Habitat for Humanity and the American Red Cross. In 2011, Lowe's and the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation together contributed more than $32 million to support communities in the United States, Canada and Mexico. To learn more, visit Lowes.com/SocialResponsibility.

About Habitat for Humanity International

Habitat for Humanity International is a global nonprofit Christian housing organization that seeks to put God's love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Since 1976, Habitat has served more than 500,000 families by welcoming people of all races, religions and nationalities to construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit www.habitat.org, or follow us at http://www.facebook.com/habitat or at http://www.twitter.com/habitat_org or join Habitat's blog community at www.habitat.org\blog .

SOURCE Habitat for Humanity International