The Lowe’s Employee Relief Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting Lowe’s employees facing a significant, unforeseen financial hardship. Since the program’s inception in 1999, the fund has contributed $17 million in assistance to more than 15,000 employees and their immediate family members.

Lowe’s employees contribute through payroll deduction or check contributions, and Lowe’s matches each contribution dollar-for-dollar. In addition, Lowe’s pays for the program’s operating costs.

Lowe’s Employee Relief Fund distributed more than $2.4 million in 2012, the largest amount in the history of the fund. Those dollars helped more than 2,100 Lowe’s employees who suffered a significant 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. Lowe's Employee Relief Fund graphic During a year in which natural disasters caused the second-largest loss total in U.S. history, Lowe’s employees stepped forward in large numbers to support those impacted the hardest. With their help, Lowe’s Employee Relief Fund contributed $345,000 in assistance to employees affected by disasters. More than 250 employees and families received assistance from the fund following Hurricanes Isaac and Sandy.

Checks and notes of encouragement streamed in from Lowe’s stores, distribution centers and offices. With hundreds of employees, Lowe’s regional distribution centers often rally together to support employees in need with generous donations. Employees at Lowe’s distribution center in Findlay, Ohio, mailed checks for more than $8,500 in 2012, bringing one-time contributions from the facility to nearly $16,000 over the past two years. Lowe’s regional distribution centers in Statesville, N.C., and Mount Vernon, Texas teamed up to raise awareness about Lowe’s Employee Relief Fund and encourage donations. Together, employees at the two facilities donated more than $20,000, and Lowe’s matched each dollar.

“The measure of a company, in my eyes, is what it does for its employees,” said project coordinator Joshua Hart. “It’s so easy to say, ‘We care,’ but so few companies step up and truly show it the way Lowe’s does. I’ve seen the Employee Relief Fund help more of our team members over the past few years than I can count.”

Many employees who were helped by the fund in 2012 shared their gratitude in thank-you letters addressed to Lowe’s family of supporters:

“I cannot thank you enough for the $1,000 you gave me for my medical bills. It has really helped with all my medical expenses. It has been very difficult for me, but to know that there are people that truly care is just overwhelming. Thanks to all of you for your support.” – Lowe’s employee, Monroe, Wash.

“I would like to thank the Employee Relief Fund and my fellow employees who contribute to the fund for the generosity shown to me and my family. It is going to be a long, slow process to rebuild and replace what we have lost (from Hurricane Sandy). But with the kindness and generosity of family, friends and my Lowe’s family, it makes each step a little easier.” – Lowe’s employee, Toms River, N.J.

“To everyone involved in the Employee Relief Fund, thank you so much for the funds. It helped a lot to offset the expenses of our son’s unexpected death. It’s still painful, but the funds take away some of the worry here and now. I’ve given before. I never expected to be on the receiving end. Now, I not only will give, I will encourage others to do so, too.” – Lowe’s employee, North Lancaster, S.C.

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