Florence, Ala. – Monday, July 9, 2012 – Serving others and the local community is the heart of Bank Independent and its team members. Operation Helping Hands, a Bank Independent sponsored initiative that encourages its team members to volunteer in the local community, encourages Bank Independent team members to take a day from work and volunteer at the Lauderdale County Animal Shelter. Five of the Bank Independent team members from various branches in the Shoals area volunteered a total of 40 hours to the local animal shelter. The volunteers cleaned out dog and cat kennels, walked dogs and bathed both kittens and puppies. By encouraging its team members to take time from work to volunteer in the local community, it provides a new awareness of the daily needs of the local community. “While volunteering at the animal shelter, I realized what working at the shelter is really like,” shared Bank Independent volunteer Mallorie Shroyer. “I now have a new perspective on what the shelter and the volunteers are about. There is a lot of work to be done, and the more hands involved, the better.” While volunteering is encouraged and supported at Bank Independent, it’s also important to them that their team members are passionate about their time giving back to the community and allows them to choose where they would like to volunteer. “I love animals. I jumped at the opportunity to give my time to help take care of the cats and dogs that need help,” explained Shroyer. “It’s a great feeling knowing we, as a team, helped a cause that is close to our hearts.” Operation Helping Hands is one of many ways that the Shoals area Bank Independent branches encourage service and giving back to the local community. As a team member volunteers his or her time, it instills a greater value of service and loyalty to the community. “As a local bank, we encourage service through giving back to the local community, and that’s what Operation Helping Hands is all about,” explains Bank Independent Shoals Area President Bill Howard. “We created Operation Helping Hands to help the community and instill the importance of giving back. It’s important for us to grow our team members into leaders who will give their time and effort to better their community.” The Lauderdale County Animal shelter strives to recruit, train and schedule volunteers to provide daily pet care implemented with rescue, foster car, and establishing meds program. For more information or to volunteer, call them at 256-836-7387.