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The Lowe's Employee Relief Fund exists so Lowe's employees can help each other in times of need. The fund, which was created in 1999, has contributed $12 million in assistance to more than 11,000 employees and their immediate family members. Making employee donations even more powerful, Lowe's matches each contribution dollar for dollar.

Lowe's Employee Relief Fund distributed more than $2 million in 2010. Those dollars helped nearly 2,000 Lowe's employees who suffered a significant financial hardship as a result of a house fire, natural disaster, family death, medical expenses or other unforeseen event. The fund assists individual employees with up to $1,500 per qualifying event. Employees contribute to the fund through payroll or check contributions, and Lowe's pays for the program's operating costs.

In 2010, Lowe's employees assisted one another across the United States, and the impact of Lowe's Employee Relief Fund was felt from Alaska to Haiti.

  • Lyn Heinrichs, a commercial sales employee at Lowe's in Wasilla, Alaska, never thought she'd need help from Lowe's Employee Relief Fund. But then she never could have imagined her family's German shepherd, Buddy, would be hailed as a hero for leading an Alaska State Trooper around a twisting road to the fire-engulfed workshop next to her home. Buddy's actions helped save Heinrichs' home, and his heroics were captured on the trooper's dash-cam video. While grateful to Buddy, Heinrichs was just as thankful for the generosity of Lowe's employees. She received assistance from Lowe's Employee Relief Fund, which helped her cover some of the medical expenses for her son, Ben, who had suffered burns on his face and left hand. "The fund was a big help because the medical bills were the biggest factor," she said.
  • When Haiti was leveled by a magnitude-7.0 earthquake, Webster Jean-Louis didn't know where to turn. Jean-Louis, Lowe's freight flow manager in South Lexington, Ky., had to get to Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital, where he lived for 37 years and where his wife and 10-year-old daughter still resided. "If it wasn't for Lowe's, I would not have made it," he said. "I live like most people, paycheck to paycheck. I was not prepared for that event." Thanks to quick-acting Lowe's employees, his Employee Relief Fund application reached Lowe's corporate office within 48 hours of the earthquake. A week later, he was reunited with his family in Port-au-Prince. "Lowe's did not stand behind me; they stood side by side with me," said Jean-Louis, who moved his wife and daughter to Kentucky and now encourages co-workers to join him in donating to Lowe's Employee Relief Fund.
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