Lowe's Home Improvement
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As the underwriter of Habitat's Women Build® program since 2004, Lowe's has brought women from all walks of life together to support the nationwide initiative that challenges women to devote at least one day to help eliminate poverty housing. Lowe's how-to clinics have put hammers in the hands of thousands of women, teaching them construction skills and empowering them to be part of the solution by building homes with partner families.

In May, Lowe's sponsored Habitat's third annual National Women Build Week. We contributed $1 million to Habitat for Humanity® affiliates, with grants of $5,000. Across all 50 states, more than 8,600 female volunteers built at Habitat construction sites, many after putting in some practice and preparation at Lowe's how-to clinics. More than 800 Lowe's Heroes also volunteered their time and skills. Together, the volunteers built 200 homes nationwide. Julie Edelman, best-selling author of "The Accidental Housewife," pounded nails and raised walls with Lowe's volunteers and other women in Paterson, N.J. They helped construct a universal design home for a family whose son was paralyzed in a car accident.

Edelman said she was, at times, speechless as she worked alongside about 30 other volunteers, including the partner family's mother and teenage daughter. "Truly, I could have never imagined the impact the last few days has had on me as both a mom and human being," Edelman wrote about the experience. "... none of us really ever thought we'd know how to repair a leaky toilet, and now, here we were building a house ... using hammers like meat cleavers and lifting frames like free weights."

In Houston, Grammy award-winning gospel artist and radio morning show host Yolanda Adams joined a female Habitat construction crew to raise awareness of the need for affordable housing in every state. She said she partnered with Lowe's and our volunteer workers to encourage other women to help those who are less fortunate. "I'm so happy we are able to come together as strong, capable women building more than rays of hope for our communities," Adams said. "We are building futures with families throughout the country."

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