Many employees consider it the single most important program Lowe’s offers. For the past 15 years, the Lowe’s Employee Relief Fund has been there to serve employees and their families in times of need.
Supported by the generous contributions of Lowe’s employees, the Lowe’s Employee Relief Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting employees facing a significant financial hardship. Employees contribute through payroll deduction or check contributions. Lowe’s matches each contribution dollar-for-dollar and pays for the program’s operating costs. All employees, part-time and full-time, are eligible to receive assistance.
Pat Lesperance (right), an employee at Lowe’s of Lyon Township, Mich., found more than $500 in cash in his store. Despite his own medical issues and financial needs, he went straight to the customer service desk to turn it in. After the money went unclaimed during the required 30-day waiting period, Lesperance donated the full amount to the Lowe’s Employee Relief Fund.
Since its inception in 1999, the fund has contributed $20 million in assistance to more than 18,000 employees and their immediate family members. Last year alone, the Lowe’s Employee Relief Fund distributed more than $2.6 million. The financial assistance helped more than 2,300 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.
Lowe’s employees regularly step up contributions in the wake of natural disasters. After a deadly outbreak of tornadoes in May 2013, store donations to the fund grew by more than 44 percent. Contributions also streamed in across the country from Lowe’s offices, distribution centers and vendor partners. With their assistance, the Lowe’s family raised more than $100,000 to help current and future employees recover from disasters and other unexpected life events.
Many Lowe’s employees wrote thank-you notes to Lowe’s family of supporters:
“I was diagnosed with bladder cancer on the 1st of August this year. After removing tumor, the docs said (I had) a year at most without treating it. I am single and alone here in N.C. I applied for the ERF and received the check Thursday. And I really want to say, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!! I have worked for at least four-dozen companies in my life and with hundreds of different people, and have never felt the compassion and generosity I have felt working for Lowe’s. THANK YOU FOR YOUR DONATIONS TO ERF. IT WORKS WONDERS. I am going to start donating myself as soon as I am done with this note.” – Lowe’s employee, Marion, North Carolina
“I had the BEST Friday! We were able to hand one of our employees a check from the ERF today to help him out with a difficulty he had. He literally became speechless, and I had to shut the door to my office because he didn’t want to let anyone see him cry. He then gave me a hug and said we’d never know how much this meant to him and his family. THANK YOU, especially all of the employees who put money into this fund. I’m proud to work with such great people!” – Lowe’s human resources manager, Mansfield, Pennsylvania
“Lowe’s may be big, but we work as one unit. When a part of the unit breaks, the rest of the unit steps up to keep the company growing and moving forward. I’ve worked at Lowe’s for 7 years and due to an unforeseen event, I was hospitalized for 81 days, (during) which 35 days I was in a coma. When I woke up, I found Lowe’s was there for my family with assistance from the Lowe’s Employee Relief Fund to help us. Thanks to Lowe’s for the Relief Fund! Your help was a blessing.” – Lowe’s employee, Hopkinsville, Kentucky
“We all have things to deal with in life … but sometimes it can be pretty darn tough! I am very proud that our company has such a great program as ERF to help ANY teammate when there is a need! I have been involved with ERF since day one of my 13-year career and have seen the program help so many people. I want to thank all of the associates who contribute to this great program. ‘No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.’ ” – Lowe’s store manager, Barboursville, West Virginia
“I will never forget how Lowe’s Employee Relief Fund was there for me 8 years ago when my son was injured in Iraq. He had hit an IED (improvised explosive device) and his vehicle was blown apart. His back was broken and he had traumatic brain injury. My HR Manager at the time told me about the ERF and how I could apply for help in getting to my son’s bedside. When all was said and done, I walked into his room and will always remember the smile that came over his face. He also has never forgotten how Lowe’s helped his mom get there.” – Lowe’s employee, York, South Carolina
“I just wanted to send such a big THANK YOU to my Lowe’s family, seen and unseen. I recently had a fire in my apartment building and the damage was devastating. Thankfully we got out in time and no one in the building was hurt. As the building burned, my daughter who is 6 years old, said to me, ‘Mommy, the house is burning.’ I didn't know where I was going to go or how I was going to make it through this. I spoke to my store manager just to let him know what was going on and why I had been absent from work. I will never forget how he said this isn't about absences but life. He then mentioned this program to me. I thought that since I am a part-time customer service associate that I might not qualify. I received $1,500 on the 1st of February. The weight that was lifted from my shoulders was like taking a deep breath after being under water for so long.” – Lowe’s employee, Chicago, Illinois
Lowe’s Employee Relief Fund
Pat Lesperance donated more than $500 to the Lowe’s Employee Relief Fund after he found the cash on the sales floor at his store in Michigan and it went unclaimed for 30 days.
The National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation honored Lowe’s community service, including relief efforts after tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma.
Dozens of thank-you letters are sent to the Lowe’s Employee Relief Fund each year. The fund has contributed $20 million in assistance to more than 18,000 employees and their families.
Jonathan Buckner, an employee at Lowe’s corporate office in Mooresville, N.C., is grateful for the funds that helped pay medical expenses after his daughter (left) had brain surgery. “I cannot sufficiently describe how proud and humbled I am to be part of this amazing company,” he said. “Through my eight-plus years here, I can honestly say that it feels like family.”
Helping Bring Service Dog Home