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Women hammer home Mother’s Day with Lowe’s Habitat

With a hammer and hope, women construction crews build Habitat homes with families during Mother’s Day week
Women cite ‘helping families and children’ as primary reason for volunteer work

AMERICUS, Ga. (April 28, 2005) – Women across the country will spend this Mother’s Day doing what means most to them – building better futures for children and families in need. In a recent survey conducted by Lowe’s and Habitat for Humanity on women and volunteerism, the reason cited most often by women for volunteering was, “wanting to help children and families in need.” The factor most often mentioned as a reason to volunteer more than they already do was “improving my community and neighborhood.”

This May, together with Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s, women will build 16 homes with hard-working families in need as part of Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program. The program works to make homeownership a reality for families in need by recruiting, nurturing and training women volunteers to construct and maintain simple, decent and affordable homes, allowing women from all walks of life to help families build better futures for children.

“We have seen so many positive changes through the Women Build program, not only in the lives of the new homeowners but in the lives of the volunteers,” said Fiona Eastwood, Women Build director. “There is something very empowering about using your hands to help to build a home with a family in your own community.”

As national underwriter of Women Build, Lowe’s is helping to construct at least 150 Women Build homes nationwide during the year. Sixteen Women Build homes will be under construction during Mother’s Day week in Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Chicago, Des Moines, Iowa; Hartford, Conn.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Olympia, Wash.; Omaha, Neb.; Pensacola, Fla. (site of two home constructions); Phoenix, Richmond, Va.; San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Tacoma, Wash.; and Winston-Salem., N.C.

“At Lowe’s, we know what building a home means to someone,” said Larry Stone, chairman of the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation. “We’re proud to partner with Habitat in supporting women who help families move out of substandard housing into their own home where they can enjoy the dignity that every family deserves. The Women Build program changes lives by building dreams.”

In a survey conducted by Lowe’s on women and volunteerism, the reason cited most often (32 percent) by women as the primary reason for volunteering was “wanting to help children and families in need,” and the factor most often mentioned (27 percent) by women as a reason to volunteer more than they already do was “improving my community and neighborhood.” In answer to the survey questions, significant percentages of women also pointed to “wanting to make a difference,” “learning new skills or gaining work experience,” and, “wanting to give back” as reasons for doing volunteer work.

More than 650 Habitat houses have been built in the United States by women crews. A Habitat for Humanity survey has shown that new Habitat homeowners report their new home has a positive effect on the physical heath of their children, a positive change in grades at school, improved behavior by children and less conflict in family relations.

In addition to Women Build, Lowe’s continues to support scores of local Habitat projects including traditional builds, the 2005 Jimmy Carter Work Project in Michigan, for which Lowe’s is an event-wide sponsor, and Habitat’s tsunami relief effort, for which Lowe’s and its customers contributed more than $2 million.

For more information about Lowe’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity and Women Build, visit www.Lowes.com/Habitat.

About Lowe’s
Lowe’s is a proud supporter of Habitat for Humanity International, American Red Cross, United Way of America, and the Home Safety Council, in addition to numerous non-profit organizations and programs that help communities across the country. Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation awards more than $3 million annually to diverse organizations across the United States. Lowe’s also encourages volunteerism through the Lowe’s Heroes, a company-wide employee volunteer program. Lowe’s, a FORTUNE® 50 company with fiscal year 2004 sales of $36.5 billion, has more than 1,100 stores in 48 states. For more information, visit Lowes.com/community.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International, based in Americus, Ga., is an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. By the end of 2005, Habitat will have built its 200,000th house and more than one million people will be living in Habitat homes they helped build and are buying through no-profit, zero-interest mortgages. www.habitat.org