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franklin county times

Bank Independent collects nearly 3K school supplies for local children

The third annual School Share supply drive collected more than 2,800 school supplies for Franklin County children in advance of the new school year.
The third annual School Share supply drive collected more than 2,800 school supplies for Franklin County children in advance of the new school year.

More than 2,800 school supplies were donated to Bank Independent’s third annual School Share drive to Franklin County children. For the second year Bank Independent partnered with area United Methodist Churches to collect supplies at all bank locations and through a series of special Stuff the Bus events.

To raise awareness of the needs of local families, Bank Independent volunteers, United Methodist Churches and stuffthebus.org offered all-day collection opportunities at bank locations across northwest Alabama, including the bank’s Village Square location on Highway 43 in Russellville. In addition to a brightly-painted school bus, these charitable organizations offered snacks, giveaways and entertainment to those who stopped by to donate school supplies.

“I enjoy seeing our School Share drive grow and involve more and more folks in the communities we serve,” said Bank Independent President Macke Mauldin. “This year we had more events, more volunteers and more partner organizations than ever before, which means we’re able to make back-to-school an easier transition for more local children.”

An additional Stuff the Bus event capped off the drive Aug. 6, when more Bank Independent volunteers collected school supply donations from the public at Walmart on Hough Road in Florence.

Following this event, the bank presented donations of school supplies to the Department of Human Resources of Franklin County and other partner organizations, including Sidney’s Safe! Foundation in the Shoals, Committee on Church Cooperation in Morgan County, Department of Human Resources of Limestone County, Limestone County Churches Involved and Department of Human Resources of Lawrence County. Over 13,000 items were collected across the bank’s seven-county footprint.

The Share drives are part of Bank Independent’s Helping Hands program, which also includes employee volunteer efforts, donations and sponsorships. Other Share drives include Shelter Share to benefit animal shelters, Food Share to collect non-perishable food items, and Toy Share to collect toys for children during the holiday season.

Helping Hands was inspired by employee requests for organized volunteer opportunities after the April 27, 2011, tornadoes. Since then, Bank Independent employees have donated over 3,500 hours in paid volunteer time to community efforts.

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