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Bank Independent collects school supplies for local children

Bank Independent will kick off its sixth annual School Share drive July 8 to collect supplies for local children.

From July 8-26, school supplies can be dropped off at any of the Bank’s 28 north Alabama locations.

In addition to the collection points, Bank Independent has pledged to match customers’ Smart Swipe savings up to a total of $10,000 July 24-26.

Smart Swipe is a simple savings plan that rounds up change from Bank Independent Debit Card purchases to the next dollar and deposits the difference into another BI account of the customer’s choosing.

Every time a customer enrolled in Smart Swipe uses their debit card for a purchase during the last three days of the share drive, Bank Independent will donate the pledged cash proceeds to the School Share partner organizations.

“Our customers are invested in serving the community and particularly rally around causes that affect children. Removing obstacles to education by providing basic school supplies makes a big impact,” said Rick Wardlaw, CEO of Bank Independent. “The added Smart Swipe match allows our customers to invest in themselves while encouraging them to make a positive difference toward School Share.”

The bank aims to build on the success of last year’s drive, which collected more than 19,904 items. Supplies will be distributed through local organizations in each market; in Franklin County the Department of Human Resources will handle distribution.

Items needed include backpacks, headphones, notebooks, paper, pencils, glue, folders, crayons, markers and rulers.

July 26 Bank Independent team members will be at Walmart locations in Florence and Huntsville collecting school supplies to “Stuff the Bus” and raise awareness of the needs of local families.

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

Helping Hands was inspired by employee requests for organized volunteer opportunities after the April 27, 2011, tornadoes. Since then, Bank Independent employees have donated more than 6,832 hours in paid volunteer time to community efforts, according to the bank.