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Lowe’s raises more than $1 million for Habitat tsunami relief effort. Matching program will fund more than 1,000 Habitat for Humanity homes

AMERICUS, Ga. (Feb. 9, 2005) – Habitat for Humanity International announced today that its national partner, Lowe’s, has exceeded its goal to raise more than $1 million to help fund Habitat’s rebuilding efforts in Sri Lanka and other areas devastated by the Dec. 26 tsunami in the Indian Ocean basin.

Lowe’s began accepting donations in January in its more than 1,075 stores nationwide and online at Lowes.com. The company and its customers have raised $1.7 million to date. In addition to matching customer donations, Lowe’s agreed to fund the cost of building 200 new homes.

Lowe’s program is an important part of Habitat’s larger plan to build 25,000 transitional houses over the next two years with thousands of families left homeless by the tsunami, said Paul Leonard, chief executive officer of the world’s largest nonprofit home builder.

“Every gift is important, every gift will make a difference. The average home in Sri Lanka costs $1,600 and even a small donation can go a long way in putting a roof over a family’s head, a family that has lost everything.”

Larry D. Stone, chair of the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation, said Lowe’s will continue to accept donations in stores and online through Feb. 21. Overall, Lowe’s gift will build more than 1,000 homes with tsunami-affected families.

“It’s a partnership we are proud of and one that demonstrates Lowe’s commitment to making a difference, not only in its home communities, but around the world when a catastrophe of this magnitude occurs,” said Leonard, adding, “it’s wonderful news that the match has been reached, but the need is still long-term, so a long-term solution is going to be necessary.

“Habitat has been working in the area for a number of years and we are going to be there through and beyond the recovery. We need people’s help to do this, now and into the future.”

To contribute:
Habitat for Humanity International
Asia Tsunami Response Fund
121 Habitat Street
Americus, GA 31709-3498
1-800-HABITAT (800-422-4828)
www.habitat.org

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 program, a company-wide employee volunteer program aimed at preventing unintentional home injuries. Lowe’s, a FORTUNE® 50 company with fiscal year 2003 sales of $30.8 billion, has more than 1,050 stores in 46 states. For more information, visit
Lowes.com/community.

About Habitat for Humanity
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.
www.habitat.org