Exodus Homes was selected in July to receive funding from Lowe’s Home Improvement in their “100 Hometowns” program to renovate the kitchen and fellowship hall of Exodus Missionary Outreach Church in Hickory. The 100 Hometowns program is a nationwide initiative celebrating Lowe’s centennial, and they invited people across the country to nominate hometown projects in need. Lowe’s received more than 2,200 requests from all over the country and chose 100 community improvement projects that span urban, rural and suburban communities benefiting seniors, veterans, children, small business owners, students and programs like Exodus Homes. The renovation includes new flooring in the kitchen, a new commercial freezer, oven, and toaster, air conditioning, a new hot and cold steam table, two handicapped accessible bathrooms, other handicap accessible features, expanded dining area, improved audio visual capability, and a mural celebrating the 25th year of the Exodus Ministry.
Earlier this year Tommy Luckadoo, who attends Corinth Church in Hickory, contacted the Rev. Susan Smith, Exodus Homes’ assistant executive director, and asked her if he could submit a grant on their behalf to Lowe’s to renovate the kitchen and fellowship hall at the church. For years Luckadoo and his family have volunteered in the Exodus ministry serving Thanksgiving dinner from the church for the community and he was well aware of the needs there. “I knew how much Exodus Homes uses the fellowship hall at the church for activities of their program and when I saw an opportunity to help them I jumped on it” he said. Over the past 18 years Exodus Homes has used the fellowship hall at the church for recovery meetings, special workshops, community recovery cook-outs, “sober socials”, 12 step meetings and other program events. One of the most important uses of the kitchen and fellowship hall has been to feed inmates from prison out on community volunteer passes and residents of Exodus Homes on Sundays and other special occasions. Mr. Luckadoo volunteered to manage the entire project which has been a full time effort over the past few months, “Tommy has been our champion to carry this huge undertaking for us and without him none of this would have happened” said the Rev. Susan Smith, Exodus Homes assistant executive director.
Eric Strickland is the “Store Captain” from Lowe’s Home Improvement on 1450 2nd St. NE in Hickory who has been working with Exodus Homes on the project. Luckadoo and Strickland worked to plan a “Red Vest Day” on September 28th where a dozen Lowe’s employees and 14 volunteers from Exodus Homes installed the ceiling tile in the kitchen, assembled shelves for the pantry, installed new lighting and and fans in the main dining room, painted the main dining room and part of the the lower level as well as the front railing and awning, repaired all the downspouts, pressured washed the sidewalks, and did landscaping of the whole property. Lowe’s donated two pallets of materials. “It is amazing to see so much progress in one day. A huge thanks goes to all the folks from Lowe’s and the volunteers from Exodus Homes. The difference from this morning to this evening is astounding” said Luckadoo. The Rev. Reggie Longcrier, executive director of Exodus Homes, was one of the volunteers on “Red Vest Day” and was amazed at the transformation of the fellowship hall saying, “We have hearts full of gratitude and are very humbled that we were chosen out of so many applicants. I can’t wait to offer breakfast before church, lunch after church, workshops, special programs and other recovery celebrations in the days to come. Many thanks to Lowe’s Home Improvement, Tommy Luckadoo, and all of the Lowe’s employees. We are so grateful. To God be the glory!”