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Gifts from the heart
Lowes employees give to Edwards Middle School students
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When employees from the Lowe’s in Conyers heard there were some Edwards Middle School students who were facing tough challenges or even going without this holiday season, they couldn’t let that happen. 

About 20 employees took on the role of Santa Claus, chipping in with their own money to buy numerous gifts and supplies for 18 students and even their siblings. 

And on Tuesday afternoon, there were excited grins on students’ faces as the lovingly wrapped presents, individually chosen based on each student, were presented on the last day of school before winter break. These gifts included clothes, shoes, books, games, toys, DVDs and even Christmas trees and ornaments. 

Parent Learning Advocate Carolina Robinson said, “The slogan is true! ‘Lowe’s Never Stops Improving.’ The entire Edwards Middle School family is grateful and overwhelmed by the kindness of generosity by the employees who spent from their personal funds to make a child smile on Christmas Day. We are proud to be connected to a village of great supportive business leaders.” 

Conyers Lowe’s store manager Kevin Cole said each year, the Lowe’s employees usually choose a family to assist privately. This year, Cole kept in touch with Robinson after the school won a grant from Lowe’s to renovate the Parent Advocate room in the fall. As he learned more about some students and families who overcome great challenges to simply attend school and learn, he and the other employees felt moved to reach out and help. The students were selected from the special needs classes taught by June Key, Jermaine Coleaton, Terri Hines and Natasha Belle, who help students with challenged backgrounds or behavioral challenges.

Many of the students had so many gifts, the bags holding them all were bigger than they were. 

Parent Summer White said, “I appreciate everything the school has done.” 

The Lowe’s employees who participated include: manager Kevin Cole and his wife Peg Cole, who works at the Lowe’s in McDonough; Jessica Cuthbert, Jesse Diaz, Ramona Shamily, Dwayne Patterson, Becky Cherry, Jim Towne, Moses Gruduah, Tony Fitzpatrick, Latisha Walker, Johnny Miller, Annette Bryant, Mona Fox, Angela Abeasi, Patricia Simmons, Paul Arthur, Shaneka Watson and Colleen Edwards.