Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Home Depot Kicks Off Program to "Retool" HBCUs

The Home Depot® offers $150,000 in Grants to Improve Campuses

New York, NY– February 16, 2010 – Continuing its long-standing history of support within the African American community, The Home Depot is launching the “Retool Your School” grant program designed to provide improvements to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) nationwide. As part of this unique program, The Home Depot will make a donation equal to five percent of the face value of three new commemorative HBCU gift cards, up to $150,000, for grants for on-campus improvement projects. Consumers can purchase the specialty gift cards online at beginning February 15.

“Empowering others to improve their communities is a mission that we share with the Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country,” said Frank Bifulco, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, The Home Depot. “This year-long program is designed to enhance the HBCU campuses not only for current students, but also for the future generations.

The newly designed “Retool Your School” gift cards showcase inspirational moments experienced on HBCU campuses as well as how-to projects from painting to landscaping. Customers can order an e-gift card, which will deliver a digital e-card instantly to the recipient’s email of the customer’s choosing. Traditional plastic gift cards can also be ordered and mailed for free. Instant e-gift card denominations start at $10 and traditional gift card denominations start at $25.

To apply for the “Retool Your School” grants, Historically Black Colleges and Universities will need to apply at by March 15. One $50,000 grant recipient and 10 $10,000 grant recipients will be selected by votes submitted by the public and an advisory board of community influencers in the spring of 2010. Consumers will be able to vote for their favorite HBCUs and see top entries on the “Retool Your School” website.

Consumers can also register online for “Retool Your School Friends and Family” updates about the HBCU program. Those who register between February 15 and March 14, 2010, can also enter to win a cabin for two to the Caribbean on the 2010 Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage. This annual eight-day cruise trip, organized by media maven Tom Joyner, raises funds to benefit Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Supporters who purchase “Retool Your School” gift cards between Feb.15 and March 14 can enter their receipt code for additional chances to win.

“We wanted to provide our consumers an additional off-line opportunity to truly connect with this program,” said Melissa Brown, manager of multicultural marketing, The Home Depot. “The cruise will provide another chance for one lucky winner to learn about the importance of HBCUs from lifetime advocate Tom Joyner.”

“Retool Your School” radio spots will also run nationally on The Tom Joyner Morning Show and The Steve Harvey Morning Show. Additional radio spots and specialty print ads to promote the grant program will run in key HBCU markets, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Greensboro, Raleigh/Durham and Washington, DC. A digital campaign will also run on popular sites, including, and (Black America Web).

For more information on The Home Depot “Retool Your School” grant program or to purchase a “Retool Your School” gift card, visit

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