Lowe's Open House Newsroom

Katrina survivor returns the favor to Houston

 

Emanuel Fitch is paying it forward when it comes to disaster relief, bringing hope and helping hands to Lowe’s employees recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.

Fitch was a Lowe’s store employee when Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf coast in 2005. So he knows first-hand what store employees in Texas are experiencing – both at work and outside of it.

We’re trying to be a spirit of encouragement. Talking to people and saying, “12 years ago, I was in your shoes.”
—Emanuel Fitch

Fitch is now a Lowe’s store manager in New Orleans, but this week he and 1,000 other Lowe’s employees are in Houston, Texas supporting the Meyerland store that was affected by Hurricane Harvey.

“I lost everything. Lowe’s allowed me to go to this state (Texas) and not miss a beat, allowing me to begin working at another store. They opened their arms to me and took me in,” Fitch said.

Fitch is part of a storm relief team that will stay in Houston for two weeks. Lowe’s storm relief teams, staffed by employees from other areas, support stores in disaster areas by covering shifts, unloading truckloads of emergency supplies, stocking shelves and serving customers.

More team members will arrive every two weeks. Currently, 140 employees from New Orleans, many affected by Hurricane Katrina, are supporting the Houston area.

“We’re trying to be a spirit of encouragement. Talking to people and saying, ’12 years ago, I was in your shoes. Keep your head up, stay strong and know that you can get through it, and we’re here to help you get through what you got us through,'” Fitch said.

Fitch also has a message for the people in the path of Hurricane Irma, “First, have faith, and know that if you stay strong you can make it through.”

First, have faith, and know that if you stay strong you can make it through.
—Emanuel Fitch