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The Home Depot Launches 'Rebuilding Hope & Homes' to Assist in Long-Term Hurricane Katrina Recovery

Published 09-20-05

Submitted by The Home Depot

ATLANTA - The Home Depot(R), the world's largest home improvement retailer, today launched Rebuilding Hope & Homes, the second phase of its philanthropic response to communities affected by Hurricane Katrina. Through customer contributions and a match of up to $1 million by The Home Depot, Rebuilding Hope & Homes will fund health and human service programs for disaster victims, and support the construction and refurbishment of affordable housing for individuals and families displaced by the storm. With approximately 1.3 billion customer transactions a year, The Home Depot seeks to empower its customer base to assist in this unprecedented rebuilding effort. Customers will have the opportunity to make $1, $5 or $10 donations to the program at any U.S. store.

Half of the donated and matched funds will go to the United Way of America. The United Way will utilize its grant within its local chapters to fund the services they are providing to those affected by the storm. The other half will go to The Home Depot Foundation, which, over the next several months, will provide funds to nonprofit organizations working to rebuild communities devastated by the storm and to construct affordable housing for individuals of low to moderate income who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

During the first phase of its response, The Home Depot, its suppliers, The Homer Fund and The Home Depot Foundation donated approximately $4 million to the communities affected by Hurricane Katrina. On Aug. 31, The Home Depot announced a combined donation of $400,000 to the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army for immediate disaster relief and recovery. The company also made a $600,000 donation to support volunteer mobilization to the affected areas. The Home Depot Foundation announced an additional donation of $500,000 to nonprofit organizations that produce and rehabilitate affordable housing in the affected areas.

To date, The Home Depot and its suppliers have partnered to donate nearly $1.25 million of products - generators, gloves, food, linens, flashlights and batteries - to those areas in need. In addition, The Homer Fund, a charitable fund that provides financial assistance to The Home Depot's own associates who encounter hardship, has made more than 1,500 grants totaling more than $1.4 million to affected associates.

"Our initial direct cash contribution to the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army and other emergency management agencies was made to meet the immediate need of those affected communities," said Bob Nardelli, chairman, president & CEO of The Home Depot. "With Rebuilding Hope & Homes, we can channel the support of our large and loyal customer base to help fund the largest long-term rehabilitation and rebuilding project in our country's history."

In addition to these efforts, The Home Depot will be donating 300,000 volunteer hours to communities across North America as part of the Corporate Month of Service in September. As previously announced, initial projects scheduled in communities affected by Hurricane Katrina are being refocused, and resources will be used to assist in the cleanup and rebuilding efforts of those communities.

This shift in projects will result in a donation of approximately 10,000 volunteer hours from the company's associates, as well as an additional contribution of more than $200,000 in materials from the company. Last week in Houston, 400 volunteers refurbished Shearn Elementary School, which is hosting 15 evacuee students from New Orleans. Stores in Monroe and Shreveport, La., will be donating their time to a local emergency supplies warehouse to hand out supplies and toiletries to displaced citizens. Also, volunteers from metro-Atlanta stores are planning to make their services available to The Salvation Army's warehouse in East Point, Ga.

The Home Depot also has set aside $250,000 for community grants to nonprofit organizations assisting in the immediate recovery and rebuilding efforts of the affected areas. Nonprofit organizations can visit http://www.homedepot.com/katrina to apply for these grants.

The Home Depot has offered any associate who has been displaced by Hurricane Katrina the opportunity to continue employment at any The Home Depot store. To date, approximately 500 associates have been employed in other stores across the country. Also, in an effort to give affected associates time to get their personal situation under control and still serve our communities, the company has brought in relief workers to help staff the stores in the affected areas. Thus far, the company has coordinated the transport and lodging for nearly 2,000 relief associates.

Founded in 1978, The Home Depot (R) is the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer and the second largest retailer in the United States, with fiscal 2004 sales of $73.1 billion. The company employs approximately 325,000 associates and has 1,949 stores in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico. The company has announced plans for retail expansion into China. The Home Depot has been recognized by Fortune as the No. 1 Most Admired Specialty Retailer for 2005. Its stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:HD) and is included in the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 index. HDG

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We are the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer with stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, 10 Canadian provinces, and Mexico.

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