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Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s challenge women in all 50 states to help build affordable housing

National recording artist Yolanda Adams, author Julie Edelman and women volunteers to help build affordable housing during National Women Build Week, May 1–9

ATLANTA (APRIL 28, 2010) – In the days leading up to Mother’s Day, construction crews of women volunteers will join Habitat for Humanity to help build more than 200 houses in all 50 states. In Houston, Texas, volunteers will be joined by Grammy award-winning gospel recording artist and radio morning show host Yolanda Adams, and in Paterson, New Jersey, New York Times best-selling author Julie Edelman will join volunteers. These pre-Mother’s Day activities are part of Habitat’s third annual National Women Build Week, May 1–9, sponsored by Lowe’s.

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 recruits, educates and nurtures women to build and advocate for simple, decent and affordable houses in their communities.

“What we’re doing this week is a living example of one of my favorite lyrics, ‘The things we do, the things we say are gentle rays of hope that touch us all each day,’” Adams said. “I’m so happy we are able to come together as strong, capable women building more than rays of hope for our communities. We are building futures with families throughout the country.”

Lowe’s is committing $1 million to National Women Build Week by providing $5,000 grants to 200 participating affiliates. This build is a major initiative of Lowe’s five-year, $20 million pledge to Habitat. That commitment includes the 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.

“Lowe’s has been the proud sponsor of Habitat’s Women Build program since 2004. This innovative program encourages women from all walks of life to pick up their hammers and build homes alongside Habitat partner families,” said Larry D. Stone, Lowe’s president and chief operations officer and chairman of the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation. “This year marks the third anniversary of National Women Build Week. Lowe’s salutes the more than 11,000 engaged women who have volunteered on Habitat job sites across the U.S. during National Women Build Week to help bring an end to poverty housing.”

Since Habitat’s Women Build program’s inception in 1998, nearly 1,700 Habitat for Humanity Women Build homes have been constructed with Habitat partner families.

“As a mother, I realize the need to help empower women,” Edelman said. “I hope together, we can build communities where we believe we’re all doing our individual best, and whatever or however we do it, our personal best is more than OK! All of us working together—moms, women, families, Habitat and Lowe’s, especially leading up to our day, Mothers Day—can truly make a difference by helping women build and maintain their homes and their sense of self and dignity.”

“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 National Women Build Week,” said Jonathan Reckford, chief executive officer 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 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. and around the world, visit www.habitat.org/wb.

About Lowe’s
Lowe’s is a proud supporter of Habitat for Humanity International, American Red Cross, SkillsUSA/Skills Canada, and The Nature Conservancy, in addition to numerous nonprofit organizations and programs that help communities in North America. In 2009, Lowe’s and the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation together contributed more than $30 million to support community and education projects in the United States, Canada and Mexico. 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 2009 sales of $47.2 billion and has more than 1,700 stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico. For more information, visit Lowes.com/community.

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 350,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1.75 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org.