With wildfires roaring throughout California, over a thousand Lowe’s volunteers packed and loaded natural disaster relief kits to provide immediate aid to families in need.
“When the times get bad, Lowe’s is at its best,” said Janice Little, Chief Diversity Officer. “We are here to stand with our company and those affected by natural disasters, to restore their homes, neighborhoods, and communities.”
Volunteers at the Lowe’s campus in North Carolina rolled up their sleeves to assemble 15,000 kits as part of a bucket brigade that brought together employees from across the state. Two truckloads will join Lowe’s Heroes volunteers in their response to the hundreds of homes lost in the recent wildfires.
“The buckets do a lot, but even beyond that, it’s the personal connection,” said Jennifer Thayer, Vice President Store Operations, whose experience with Lowe’s includes response to Hurricanes Irma, Matthew, Ike, and Katrina—including time on the front lines as a New Orleans store manager in the midst of Hurricane Katrina. “These buckets let people know that we care, and they are not alone.”
The buckets were packed with everything from sponges to household cleaner to garbage bags, dust masks, and more. All product was donated by Lowe’s vendors, totaling over $695,000—about $50 per bucket.
Every product has a purpose in mind. Standing water after a hurricane often sends insect populations through the roof, creating yet another barrier between a family and their home recovery. Bug spray is a critical component of the disaster relief kit.
“When disaster strikes, reclaiming a sense of home is the first step toward recovery,” said Mike Bowers, Senior Sales Director at Spectrum Brands, the organization responsible for donating 15,000 units of Cutter insect repellent. “Spectrum Brands is proud to roll up our sleeves and pitch in as part of the Lowe’s Bucket Brigade to help give homeowners the tools they need to do that.”
Julie Davis, Lowe’s IT Business Analyst and two-time Bucket Brigade volunteer, said her decision to volunteer was in direct response to the homes lost in California wildfires. “It’s about people seeing that Lowe’s is there to support them, no matter how small or big.”
All remaining buckets were transported to the Statesville distribution center, where they will be ready to respond to the next major natural disaster alongside Lowe’s Heroes volunteers.
“We know from many years of partnership that Lowe’s is committed to helping people get back on their feet by providing relief where and when it’s needed.” said Bowers. The Bucket Brigade is just one part of a comprehensive disaster relief plan—last year Lowe’s committed over $2.5 million and more than 2,000 Lowe’s Heroes volunteers to help communities rebuild following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
See more photos from the event below and read more about Lowe’s disaster relief efforts.