PAINTSVILLE, Ky. — Christian Appalachian Project (CAP) has worked with Lowe’s to address substandard housing issues in Eastern Kentucky. Through the company’s Give Back Time initiative, Lowe’s associates use volunteer hours provided by Lowe’s to make a difference in their local community.
“We have had a relationship with Lowe’s for about 12 years,” said Ronnie Griffith, Elderly Housing Crew Leader. “Once they learned about the work we do to help people in need in Appalachia, Lowe’s staff stepped up to support those efforts. The volunteer service Lowe’s employees provided is a win-win.”
In 2018, Lowe’s launched an online platform to help connect associates to volunteer opportunities in their local communities. For all full-time associates who have at least one year’s tenure, Lowe’s Give Back Time program offers eight hours of paid volunteer time annually to dedicate to a nonprofit organization of the associate’s choice.
“Many times, as employees, we don’t get the opportunity to serve customers outside of the store, but Give Back Time allows us to help the community,” said Candy Bates, Lowe’s store manager in Painstville. “We work here, we live here, we’re a part of the community.
Sometimes we forget how bad it is for many of our neighbors in Appalachia. When Lowe’s started this program, I made it my mission to make sure our staff could take advantage of using these volunteer hours to help people in our own backyard.”
Over the course of three days, a total of 15 Lowe’s associates worked to build a ramp at the home of Wayne Cheney, an elderly man who lives just two miles from the store. He had found himself virtually homebound because it wasn’t safe to leave his home. Many times he had to pay someone from his limited income to help him get out of his home and drive him to run errands.
“When he came out and saw the work being done on his home, he was moved,” Griffith added. “It was great for him to see a business in our community willing to come and help people that needed it. Working with Lowe’s helps CAP continue to make homes safe, warm, and dry. It makes a difference to work with organizations that find new ways to help us fulfill our mission.”
Bates and her team have assisted Elderly Housing staff in the store on a regular basis to purchase building supplies for ongoing projects to reduce the amount of substandard housing in Eastern Kentucky.
“Whenever there is a need like a flood or fire, we always send people to help,” Bates said. Lowe’s sends volunteers to help with cleanup efforts following natural disasters like hurricanes, flooding, and tornadoes. Lowe’s also provided CAP’s Disaster Relief
Program with supplies following natural disasters in Kentucky like the floods in Flat Gap. “This is our community too. We are glad we have the chance to enrich people in the community that we call home.”
Lowe’s associates contributed 315,000 hours of community service nationwide last year. The company has a goal of reaching more than 3 million hours of associate community service by 2025.