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Toy share drive delivers for local children

Special to the Enquirer

More than 3,661 toys and $1,278 in cash were donated in the 12th annual Bank Independent Toy Share drive between Nov. 10-Dec. 2. All donations were distributed to local children in need through partner organizations across North Alabama in time for the holidays. Bank Independent donated an additional $11,000 to Toy Share partner organizations to match the $11,000 seven customers won during the Seven Weeks of Winning and Giving sweepstakes.

Since Toy Share started in 2011, more than 40,000 items and $45,000 in cash have been donated to the families in our local communities. The total economic impact has surpassed the $1 million mark.

“I want to thank our communities, our customers, and our team members from the bottom of my heart,” said Macke Mauldin, President and CEO of BancIndependent. Inc. “The 2022 Toy Share drive was an incredible success because of the generosity of our friends and neighbors. Your support brought joy to so many local children in need this Christmas. Your kindness sets a great example for how we can make a positive difference as a community as we move into 2023.”

This year, the Bank accepted donations on site and continued to offer the low and no-contact donation options. Patrons were able to drop off donations at all 30 Bank Independent locations and at participating Dollar Generals across North Alabama. Additionally, the Bank established an Amazon Wish List for online shoppers and accepted monetary donations through PayPal.

“Our community partners are on the ground every day and best positioned to help people in need,” continued Mauldin. “The decision to match ‘Seven Weeks of Winning’ funds with ‘Seven Weeks of Giving’ gave us the opportunity to make an even bigger impact.”

The Seven Weeks of Winning debit card sweepstakes kicked off Nov. 2 and ran through Dec. 20. Customers were encouraged their debit card to have their name automatically entered into a weekly drawing for $1,000 and the grand prize of $5,000. During the seven weeks, the Bank donates a matching $11,000 to the winners’ local Toy Share partners.

The Bank partners with charitable organizations across their 7-county footprint to distribute Toy Share donations. The list of charitable partners includes the Angel Tree Program with Lexington High School, Christmas Charities Year-Round of Madison County, Committee on Church Cooperation in Morgan County, Cornerstone Church in Lawrence County, Department of Human Resources in Franklin and Limestone counties, North Alabama Christian Children’s Home, Rogersville Volunteer Fire Department, Shoals CASA, Safeplace of the Shoals and William Porter Foundation of the Shoals.

Toy Share is the last of four annual share drives hosted by Bank Independent to give back to the community as part of Bank Independent’s Helping Hands Foundation.