Oswego Lowe’s Heroes Project Benefits OCO
Thanks to the generosity and dedication of Lowe’s Home Improvement and the employees of its Oswego location, residents in OCO’s Behavioral Health Services transitional living apartments in Fulton can now enjoy a new backyard gazebo and patio.
The project was the result of Lowe’s Heroes program, an employee volunteer program that began more than 10 years ago. Lowe’s Heroes program encourages employees to come together as a team and adopt a volunteer project to benefit a local nonprofit.
“We wanted to improve our backyard and create a comfortable outdoor environment for our residents,” said OCO Family Care Specialist Penny Foster-Pratt. “Since there was plenty of room we thought a patio with a gazebo would be perfect. While discussing our plans with Shawn Hyer, manager of Lowe’s Home Improvement in Oswego, I mentioned that while we could purchase the gazebo, furniture and tiles for the patio we still needed to find a way to prepare the area for the patio and build the gazebo.”
“When I was introduced to Penny we started talking about what OCO is all about and what services they provided locally,” said Hyer. “With the Lowe’s Heroes program being a way of giving back to our community Penny’s project was a perfect fit for us. My staff and I were really excited to assist with the project. Many of our associates have been in retail home improvement for some time and this gives them a chance to showcase or create experiences related to what they do career wise.”
Soon after, Hyer and several Lowe’s employees arrived at the house and began preparing the yard for the project. For two days they worked together as a team to level and build a foundation for the area where the patio and gazebo would be.
“They were wonderful,” said Foster-Pratt. “Not only did they work to remove shrubs and prepare the area where the built the patio and the gazebo; Shawn, through Lowe’s Heroes program, donated materials for the foundation and a set of stairs from the back door that lead to the patio.”
Since its inception the mission of Lowe’s Heroes program is transforming lives one community at a time. “Lowe’s is a home improvement company built on a single purpose – to help people love where they live,” said Hyer. “We believe that by working together we can build something better — for our company, our customers and our communities. Lowe's embraces teamwork as a core value and a key ingredient in maintaining an engaged work force. Recently Lowe’s awarded store employees specific paid hours for volunteer work so they can now get paid to assist with project like these and have a positive impact on the communities we all share.”
The accompanying photo shows, in front from left, OCO Supportive Housing Supervisor Angela Shirk; Lowe’s employees PJ Mills, Coreen Williams, Savahna Lisi, and Jae Patak and Director of OCO Behavioral Health Beth Thompson. In back, from left, are OCO Family Care Specialist Penny Pratt, OCO Transitional Living Counselors Casey Nessel and Megan Russo, Shawn Hyer, manager of Lowe’s Home Improvement in Oswego, and Lowe’s employees Brian Washer, Terry Moody, Brian Strasburg, Kevin Sauve, Josh Hutchinson, Chris Miller, and Frank Carmine.