Founded in 1957, Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation has a long and proud history of improving the communities we serve. The foundation's support has grown to match the growing needs of our communities, going from $3 million in contributions in 2004 to nearly $19 million in 2010.
Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation funds nonprofit organizations and public agencies that support our charitable goals. The foundation's primary philanthropic focus centers on K–12 public education and community improvement. Within these areas, Lowe's Foundation is committed to supporting projects that have the greatest impact on our communities and align with our core business — home improvement.
We believe education is the cornerstone to building bright futures and stronger communities. Our long-established commitment to improving educational opportunities is best exemplified by our signature education grant program, Lowe's Toolbox for Education®. Since its inception in 2006, Lowe's Toolbox for Education has contributed nearly $25 million to more than 5,400 schools in the United States. In 2010, with schools and community groups continuing to face financial challenges, Lowe's Foundation again focused on basic needs. The foundation gave more than $2.5 million in regional grants to fund a variety of improvements for schools and community gathering places.
With the foundation's support, we also continued to address the growing skilled worker shortage in the United States and Canada. Lowe's Foundation boosted its support of trades education with a new five-year, $1.5 million annual commitment to SkillsUSA®. As we expand our store presence in Canada, we also are expanding our commitment to youth across the country. The foundation will contribute $1.25 million over five years to Skills / Compétences Canada. The contribution will support high school-based projects in the provinces of Alberta and Ontario, and will expand to other regions as Lowe's establishes retail locations in more communities.
Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation, which also supports partnerships with Rebuilding Together®, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and The Nature Conservancy among others, is comprised of a nine-member board of directors. The board includes representatives from various departments within Lowe's, from store operations and human resources to the legal and tax teams, supplying a diversity of thought, leadership and experience to help shape the foundation's work. Larry Stone, Lowe's president and chief operating officer and a 41-year company veteran, is chairman of the foundation.
For more information about Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation, including application guidelines, visit Lowes.com/community.