An annual back-to-school supply drive collected more than 20,000 items for students in North Alabama, including Limestone County, according to a press release.

Bank Independent's School Share Drive was conducted July 8–26 at all Bank Independent locations and at one-day collection events at Home Depot in Florence and Walmart locations in Florence and Huntsville.

The drive netted 20,667 items, which were distributed to partner organizations. A press release about the drive said $9,421.65 in Smart Swipe pledges were also collected.

“We’ve conducted the School Share drive for six years now, but this is the first time that we’ve added the Smart Swipe pledge-match,” said Rick Wardlaw, chief executive officer of Bank Independent. “At Bank Independent, our mission is to make a positive difference. We wanted to honor the positive difference that customers make to their own financial well-being when they practice healthy savings habits by pledging to match their savings and donate the total to School Share. When we pull together, small change can affect big change in the community.”

The school supplies and cash donations will be distributed through local organizations in each market, including Committee on Church Cooperation in Decatur, Sidney’s Safe! Foundation and New Beginnings Church in the Shoals and the Department of Human Resources in Madison, Limestone, Franklin and Lawrence counties.

School Share is part of Bank Independent’s Helping Hands program, which also includes employee volunteer efforts, donations and sponsorships. Other 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.