Lowe’s has been the go-to store for home improvement supplies and appliances for the past 60 years. Established in 1946 in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, the chain now has 1,710 stores in the United States and 20 in Canada, serving a total of 14 million customers in just a span of seven days. It is the second largest home improvement retailer worldwide – an impressive feat for a company that started out as a small hardware store.

To give back to the community that has patronized their products and services, Lowe’s Companies, Inc. pledged a commitment that extends beyond the boundaries of the traditional retail setting. Through philanthropy, the company supports its neighbors through alliances with well-respected organizations.

lowes charitable logoLowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation was established almost at the same time as the company. It helps schools and community-based groups make ends meet through basic, one-time projects that have long-term and sustainable effects.

In 2010, Lowe’s made a significant contribution to help victims of the earthquake in Haiti. The company donated a total of $1 million to the Red Cross, together with some of America’s industry giants.

This year, Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation donated a total of $1 million to four environmental charities through an online campaign. The charities, American Forests, Keep America Beautiful, National Park Foundation, and Water.org, each received a $100,000 grant, while the remaining $600,000 was received by the charity who won the most consumer votes. By encouraging consumers to participate in the selection process, the company’s foundation lets the community decide how to best distribute grants to the most deserving organization.

Lowe’s has also taken on the challenge of providing tools to help educators and communities deliver basic needs to their students. The company believes that students have a dire need to be provided with essential learning tools, while communities should be empowered to give citizens a safe dwelling.

With their commitment to charity, Lowe’s dedication to corporate responsibility is truly admirable.