At Lowe's, we value our role as a home improvement leader and the responsibilities that come with it. While leadership is always important, it's even more critical in challenging times.
That's why in 2010, we stepped up our efforts to support the needs of our customers, our communities and our employees.
To create a healthier work force and help control rising health-care costs, Lowe's has introduced some innovative employee benefits. We partnered with the Cleveland Clinic, the nation's top cardiac care hospital, to offer heart surgery at no cost to eligible full-time employees and their dependents. We also launched a national health screening tour, sending mobile health-screening buses across the country to provide free screenings to more than 70,000 Lowe's employees.
We believe that when we work together, we can build something even better. With the support of Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation and our nonprofit partners, we completed more than 3,000 public education and community improvement projects in 2010.
As students and schools continued to grapple with financial concerns, we expanded our commitment to K–12 public education through Lowe's Toolbox for Education grant program, which contributed more than $4 million to improve nearly 1,000 schools in all 50 states.
At the same time, Lowe's Heroes were hard at work improving our communities. Raising hammers and hope, they teamed with Habitat for Humanity® and Rebuilding Together® to deliver safe and affordable housing to local families in every state. And they were often among the first volunteers to respond to local disasters, ranging from tornadoes in Ohio to floods in Tennessee and Mexico.
As Lowe's continues our global expansion, we remain focused on helping customers make environmentally responsible choices. Our efforts to promote energy and water conservation helped Lowe's receive unprecedented honors from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. We also installed recycling centers in nearly 1,700 stores to make it easier for everyone to make a difference.
We continue to challenge ourselves to work together to build a better future. This report reflects those efforts. We look forward to doing more, and we promise to update you on our progress.
Robert A. Niblock
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer