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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – School Share 2022 is officially underway for Bank Independent! It’s a donation drive to collect all the essentials so classrooms are stocked for the new school year.

School Share is one of four drives that make up the bank’s ‘Helping Hands’ program. The idea for Helping Hands was born in 2011 after tornados devastated portions of North Alabama. The drives try to target major areas of need from food insecurity, to pet care and school supplies.

“People just think of school supplies as pencils and paper, and there’s a lot more than that,” Bank Independent Public Relations Manager Ashley Balch told News 19.

Teachers want to ensure that students are set up for success and are not left behind, “A lot of times [teachers], its got to come out of their pockets for their classrooms, so this is what this is trying to do: get the kids started off right, get the teachers started off right, so that the school year can be as smooth as it can be,” Balch continued.

Bank Independent is not only hosting the drive but they are also matching certain monetary donations as well. “To be able to go out and give back to the community and do a service and provide them with a need is what it’s about,” Balch said. “We do a lot with our smart swipe program where we round up purchases and we match it.”

Bank employees will also be the ones on-site for Friday’s blitz donation event, stuffing a bus full of school supplies.

“We want to get all the supplies that we can and fill that bus up to the top – so donate, come out and visit with us for a few minutes, and let’s really help those kids get started for the school year,” Balch said.

News 19 and Bank Independent are teaming up for School Share 2022 to help alleviate the costs for teachers and parents this school year. If you’re interested in donating or helping the cause, click here.