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Habitat for Humanity challenges women in all 50 states to help build affordable housing

Recording artist Trisha Yearwood and women volunteers answer challenge from Habitat and Lowe’s to help families in need during National Women Build Week, May 2–10

ATLANTA, APRIL 30, 2009 – In the days leading up to Mother’s Day, construction crews of women volunteers, including recording artist Trisha Yearwood, will pound nails, raise walls and lay bricks at more than 175 Habitat for Humanity construction sites across all 50 states. These pre-Mother’s Day activities are part of Habitat’s second annual National Women Build Week, May 2–10, sponsored by Lowe’s.

“There are so many emotions that you have all at one time when working with Habitat for Humanity,” Yearwood said. “There’s the feeling of physically helping a new Habitat homeowner and the sense of self-esteem that it brings. And then there is this amazing feeling of getting to know these volunteers who dedicate themselves to this work. It is an amazing experience!”

National Women Build Week challenges women to devote at least one day to eliminate poverty housing. The event is an initiative of Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program, which brings women from all walks of life together to learn construction skills and then use those skills to build simple, decent affordable houses.

Lowe’s is committing $875,000 to National Women Build Week, providing $5,000 grants and event support materials to 175 participating affiliates. This build is a major initiative of Lowe’s renewed five-year, $20 million pledge to Habitat. That commitment includes underwriting of Habitat’s Women Build program, as well as providing construction know-how at in-store clinics and build sites, and funding for a variety of Habitat projects across the country.

“In our sixth year of supporting Habitat’s Women Build program, Lowe’s has seen the impact women volunteers are making toward eliminating poverty housing in our communities,” said Larry D. Stone, Lowe’s president and COO and chairman of the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation. “National Women Build Week energizes community volunteers and Lowe’s employees to build alongside families in need. And there’s no better time than Mother’s Day to remind people that we can help parents provide warm, safe homes for their children by supporting Women Build and other Habitat projects.”

In the United States, more than 70 percent of Habitat’s homes are built in partnership with women heads-of-household. Women have been building Habitat houses since 1991, and since the Women Build program’s inception more than 1,400 Habitat for Humanity Women Build homes have been constructed with Habitat partner families.

“Mothers appreciate the importance of a safe, secure living environment for their children,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “We are grateful that all across the country, women are addressing housing needs facing low-income families by joining Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s during National Women Build Week.

“As we at Habitat continue our work to provide simple, decent, affordable housing, we are both honored and humbled by the incredible support Habitat’s women volunteers, sponsors and partner family heads-of-household lend to this important nationwide initiative.”

For more information on Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program, and to learn about Women Build projects in communities across the U.S., visit www.habitat.org/wb. Follow the National Women Build Week action online from May 2-10.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built more than 300,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1.5 million people. For more information, visit 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. In 2008, Lowe’s and the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation together contributed more than $26 million to support community and education projects in the United States and Canada. Lowe’s also encourages volunteerism through the Lowe’s Heroes program, a company-wide employee volunteer initiative. Lowe’s is a FORTUNE® 50 company with fiscal year 2008 sales of $48.2 billion and has more than 1,650 stores in the United States and Canada. For more information, visit www.Lowes.com/community.