Little hands drawing between school supplies and apples

The start of a new school year in Limestone County is right around the corner, and officials with Bank Independent are seeking donations for students across the Tennessee Valley.

The bank will be collecting supplies now through July 26 at Wal-Mart locations in Huntsville and Florence as part of its sixth annual School Share drive. Supplies will be distributed to Department of Human Resources offices in Limestone, Madison, Franklin and Lawrence counties as well as the Committee on Church Cooperation in Decatur, Sidney's Safe! Foundation and New Beginnings Church in the Shoals.

“Our customers are invested in serving the community and particularly rally around causes that affect children,” said Rick Wardlaw, chief executive officer of Bank Independent. “Removing obstacles to education by providing basic school supplies makes a big impact.”

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

“The added Smart Swipe match allows our customers to invest in themselves, while encouraging them to make a positive difference towards School Share,” Wardlaw said.

Officials hope to build on the success of last year’s drive, which collected over 19,904 items. Items needed include backpacks, headphones, notebooks, paper, pencils, glue, folders, crayons, markers and rulers.