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Office Depot Donates $50,000 Gift to Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County to Build Boynton Beach Home for Local Family

Submitted by: Office Depot, Inc.

Categories: Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions

Posted: May 21, 2004 – 12:00 AM EST


First House to be Sponsored by a Fortune 500 Company in Palm Beach County

May 21 /CSRwire/ - DELRAY BEACH, Fla - Office Depot, Inc., (NYSE:ODP), today announced that it will present a $50,000 donation to Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County to help fund the construction of a new home in Boynton Beach for N'Dai Tawale, a widowed mother of three who came to the U.S. from Zimbabwe. The family currently resides in a one-bedroom apartment in Boynton Beach.

This represents the tenth house to be built in Boynton Beach by Habitat for Humanity, but it is the first house to be sponsored by a Fortune 500 company in Palm Beach County.

A gift donation and groundbreaking ceremony will take place on Tuesday, May 25th at 10:00 a.m. at 529 NW 11th Avenue in Boynton Beach. Bruce Nelson, Chairman and CEO of Office Depot, will host the event with Paul Johnson, President of Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County. In addition, several city officials and community leaders will also attend including:

-- Danielle Coin, District Legislative Assistant to Representative Anne Gannon

-- City Commissioner Mack McCray

-- Glenn Jergensen, Past Chair from Boynton Beach Chamber of Commerce

In addition to sponsoring the construction of the house for the Tawales, Office Depot employees from its corporate headquarters and local stores will volunteer every weekend for the next 4-5 months to help build the house.

"Office Depot seeks to enhance the quality of life in the communities where our customers and employees live and work," said Mary Wong, Director of Community Relations for Office Depot. "We are pleased to partner with Habitat for Humanity and support an organization that has such a profound social impact in our community."

Tawale, a native of Zimbabwe lived in nothing more than a hut with only a mud floor, but now she and her children will have a home of their own - a three-bedroom ranch-style house with a yard and a garage.

The Tawale family will join the more than 750,000 people living in 150,000 houses constructed around the world by Habitat for Humanity International since it was founded in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller.

Office Depot's relationship with Habitat for Humanity began two years ago, when Office Depot executives met founder Linda Fuller who received the company's Visionary Award for Non-Profit at its 2003 Success Strategies for Businesswomen's conference.

"We have never owned a real home with electricity, running water or a backyard for my children to play in. We are so very grateful to Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County and Office Depot for helping me fulfill my lifelong dream of being a homeowner," said Tawale.

"I am so overwhelmed with joy and thankful for the support of so many people in the Boynton Beach community including my family at Faith United Methodist Church. We can't wait to get started working on building our new home."

About Habitat for Humanity
Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat for Humanity builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses with the help of the homeowner (partner) families. Habitat houses are sold to partner families at no profit, financed with affordable, no-interest loans. The homeowners' monthly mortgage payments are used to build still more Habitat houses.

Habitat is not a giveaway program. In addition to a down payment and the monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor - sweat equity - into building their Habitat house and the houses of others.

Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with God and people everywhere, from all walks of life, to develop communities with people in need by building simple decent affordable homes. For every house built by the South Palm Beach County affiliate, it donates $1000 to the Haitian affiliate, which builds a home in their community.

About Office Depot
With annual sales of nearly $12 billion, no one sells more office supplies to more customers in more countries than Office Depot. Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Delray Beach, FL, the company conducts business in 23 countries and employs nearly 50,000 people worldwide.

Office Depot is an industry leader in every distribution channel - from retail stores and contract delivery to catalogs and e-commerce. The company is the world's number two online retailer - on target to generate $2.6B in sales for FY'03. In North America, Office Depot has more than 900 retail stores in addition to a national business-to-business delivery network supported by 22 delivery centers, more than 60 local sales offices and 13 regional call centers.

Recently, Office Depot was recognized in BusinessWeek as the country's 11th most generous in-kind giver as a percentage of revenues. Also, the company was one of twelve companies included in the Companies That Care Honor Roll.

The company's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ODP and is included in the S&P 500 Index. Additional press information can be found at:

For more information, please contact:

Alison Lynch Office Depot, Delray Beach
Phone: 561-438-4276
Paul Johnson Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County
Phone: 561-819-6070


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