Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Home Depot® Offers HBCUs the Opportunity to “Retool Your School” with their 2nd Annual Grant Program

Home Improvement Giant Encourages Alumni, Family and Friends to Vote For Their Favorite HBCU as Schools Compete for $150,000 in Grants for Sustainable Campus and Facility Upgrades
New York, NY– February 23, 2011 – The Home Depot® continues its long-standing support of diverse communities with the second year of its highly successful “Retool Your School” grant program. Designed to reinvigorate Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) nationwide through evergreen campus improvement efforts, this year’s program provides HBCUs with the opportunity to win $150,000 in grants to be awarded as one $50,000 Grand Prize major grant and ten $10,000 minor grant winners. Online voting will take place from March 1 – April 22, 2011.

“We were extremely pleased with the response from schools and the community as a whole to last year’s “Retool Your School” program. These institutions really showed us their school spirit and pride with the overwhelming amount of online votes we received,” said Trish Mueller, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, The Home Depot®. “This year, we look forward to reviewing the unique ideas and proposals that each school develops as we provide grants for a variety of practical and eco-friendly projects.”

During the online voting period, consumers will be able to view descriptions of major and minor projects and can cast one vote per day for their favorite HBCU. Following the online vote, a panel of distinguished judges will also evaluate each school’s proposal. Projects will be judged based on votes posted to the website –, as well as, relevance of the proposal requirements as listed on the website and application. Entrants must highlight how each project will make a lasting, positive impact on its campus. Special attention will be given to schools that pitch eco-friendly tasks. Judges will also take into consideration the depth of each proposal and the school’s ability to execute the project within the budget of $50,000 (major) or $10,000 (minor), as applicable. The winning schools will be determined based on a combination of online votes and the judge’s evaluations. The Home Depot® will announce the top finalists on May 16, 2011.

As a company that prides itself on making a positive impact on the environment, The Home Depot® “Retool Your School” program judges will provide special consideration to schools who plan to use sustainable, eco-friendly and energy-saving resources, including, but not limited to, energy-efficient lighting and windows, and water-saving faucets and toilets, etc. With the goal of issuing grants for projects that have a lasting impact, last year The Home Depot® awarded Elizabeth City State University with the Grand Prize of $50,000. The school will use the funds to build the first-ever home baseball field in the school’s 119-year history.

“Last year, I had an enjoyable experience picking the colleges, but what I learned the most is where people’s priorities are,” shared Jasmine Guy, renowned Actress and 2010 “Retool Your School” National Judge. “I’m proud that The Home Depot® took the time to really analyze each proposal, so that we knew we were giving substantive donations to the schools that would last longer than something that just looks good.”

For more information on The Home Depot® “Retool Your School” grant program or to register online for “Retool Your School” program updates, visit

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