Athens, Ala. – Friday, June 22, 2012– Serving others and the local community is the heart of Bank Independent and the Bank Independent team. Operation Helping Hands, a Bank Independent sponsored initiative that encourages team members to volunteer in the local community, provided 40 hours of service, with five local Bank Independent team members donating their time to the Athens Limestone County Animal Shelter. On Tuesday, June 12, Mary Beth Camp, Paula Wright, Ginger McGough, Belinda Landers and Kimberly Traylor of Athens each donated eight hours of their work day to help at the local animal shelter. As a volunteer, they washed, played and walked the dogs, as well as bathed and played with the cats. It was through their time volunteering that Bank Independent team members saw how much the manager and her employees truly cared for the animals, treating each animal as if they were their own. “The best part of volunteering for this organization was knowing that the dogs and cats received some interaction with people and were able to have some fun,” shared Bank Independent volunteer, Mary Beth Camp. “We are all animal lovers, and it was so great to work with an organization so committed to helping animals and trying to keep each animal as long as they can. We even had one volunteer adopt a puppy as a result of volunteering there.” Operation Helping Hands is one of many ways that the Limestone County Bank Independent branches encourage service within their bank and instills in every team member the importance of giving back to their local community. “As we continue to build and invest in Limestone County, we are also committed to investing our time and efforts in the community,” explains Bank Independent Limestone Area President Tom McCrary. “This is where our employees and customers live, and it’s important to us to be hands-on in the community and serve wherever we are needed.” The Athens Limestone County Animal Shelter is located at 1701 Hwy. 72 East, Athens, AL 35611. They are open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. – noon. The basic adoption fee is $92 to cover spay/neuter and rabies vaccine, and the upgraded fee of $150 covers spay/neuter, rabies, DHLPP, and bordatella (kennel cough) vaccines, a heartworm test and fecal exam. For more information, call 256-771-7889.