Skip to Content



When the unexpected happens, we’re here to help. Big Lots is partnering with The Columbus Foundation and the Gifts of Kindness LLC to create The Big Lots Foundation Emergency Assistance Fund. The Fund provides grants for food, shelter and other basic needs to Big Lot’s associates experiencing financial hardship due to an unexpected personal crisis.


Who is eligible for assistance?


All active Big Lots associates are eligible to apply and receive support twice for basic needs, up to a total of $2,000 in a rolling 12-month period. This may be in response to personal hardships, such as illness or death in the family, or natural disasters like tornadoes or house fires, and will cover qualified expense only. The death of a Big Lots associate is eligible up to $5,000 and the death of an eligible family member (see guidelines for list) is $2,500. There is a $9,000 lifetime maximum for each associate.


Per the guidelines, all of your documents must include your name and/or address. Please do not provide any documentation with personal information such as your social security number, driver's license information, bank/credit card account numbers or user ID/passwords. Please redact or remove this information before sending the document.


For more detailed information on eligibility, please refer to the following guidelines:






At Big Lots, we’re more than coworkers. We’re one big family—here to support each other in good times and bad. This fund will provide grants of up to $2,000 for food, shelter, and other basic needs to associates experiencing financial hardship due to an unexpected personal crisis. Death-related events have a maximum of $5,000 for associates and $2,500 for eligible family members.


To begin the application process:

  • Start an online application here.
    You will complete your registration and employment eligibility form first. Once employment has been verified, you will receive an email to complete your application & provide documentation. This process can take up to 2 business days.

  • All emails from our application portal will come from "The Columbus Foundation and Affiliated Organizations" ( Please check your junk or spam folders regularly. Do not email this address directly. Email with all questions.


Questions about the application process? Email or call (614) 545-7561.




One helping hand can make a big difference in the lives of the Big Lots Family. All associates are encouraged to support their Big Lots family and lend a helping hand by donating to the Fund. See below for a list of ways you can donate and start contributing to the Big Lots Emergency Assistance Fund (BLEAF) today:


  1. Make an online gift directly to the fund.
  2. Mail a check to The Columbus Foundation:
    • Make the check out to “The Columbus Foundation” and in the memo reference “BLEAF."

The Columbus Foundation, ATTN: BLEAF
1234 E. Broad Street
Columbus OH 43205


  1. Enroll in Big Lots Voluntary Payroll Deduction using the Payroll Deduction Guidelines.


Questions about making a gift through The Columbus Foundation? Email BLEAF@columbusF\ or call (614) 545-7561.