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Helping Hands

Making a positive difference for the families, individuals and organizations across north Alabama.
Bank Independent was founded in 1947 for the specific purpose of providing the citizens of the agricultural community of Leighton, Alabama with a financial institution after the "big bank" moved out of town.  Our commitment to give back to the communities we serve has only grown since then, boosted by our founders' belief that "a rising tide lifts all boats." In other words, when we all pitch in, everybody wins.

Bank Independent's comprehensive Helping Hands program includes diverse charitable giving and community outreach initiatives to make a positive difference in the lives of our neighbors across the communities we serve.  

Donations and Sponsorships

We are proud to partner with local organizations, teams and efforts that demonstrate Bank Independent's Mission and Values, and devote a substantial portion of our earnings to supporting these folks through our donations and sponsorships program.  

We welcome requests for monetary donations or sponsorships or promotional items via our online request form. 

When considering donation and sponsorship requests, Bank Independent favors local organizations focused on the following areas within the seven counties we serve:  

  • Education
  • Civic and community life 
  • Arts and cultural activities
  • Health and human services, and/or
  • Economic development

The following are not eligible to receive donations and/or sponsorships from Bank Independent:*

  • Political causes, candidates, or legislative efforts 
  • Lobbying or advocacy groups 
  • Individuals
  • For-profit businesses
  • Labor organizations 
  • Fraternal organizations 
  • Events, organizations or causes that we deem sensitive, controversial, or harmful or that pose a potential conflict of interest to Bank Independent 


Despite that fact that he never graduated from college, our late Board Chairperson Edward Fennel Mauldin passionately believed that everyone should be provided the opportunity to attend. It was in this spirit that the Edward Fennel Mauldin Memorial Endowed Scholarships have been created in honor of Mr. Mauldin at the following institutions:

  • University of North Alabama
  • Athens State University
  • Northwest Shoals Community College
Bank Independent hopes to institute scholarships at additional area colleges in the near future.

Applications are processed and recipients selected by the awarding schools. The only requirements for consideration are that the student must be a first-generation college student, live in one of the seven counties served by Bank Independent, and demonstrate financial need.

Community Involvement

Bank Independent team members are personally involved in giving back to the community in all sorts of ways.  Our folks coach youth sports, teach Sunday School, lead civic organizations, run 5ks in support of local charities, serve as volunteer firefighters, participate in festivals and events...their volunteerism is incredibly diverse and widespread.  The common thread is our shared gratitude for what we've been given and our commitment to pay it forward.

Volunteer Initiative

In 2011, following the devastating April 27 tornado outbreak, Bank Independent created the Helping Hands volunteer initiative, an ongoing effort offering all team members—part-time and full-time—eight hours of paid time each year to devote to volunteering in the communities we serve.

Our volunteers have contributed thousands of hours of assistance to charitable organizations, including:

  • Charitable thrift stores
  • Food pantries 
  • Animal shelters
  • School events
  • Festivals
  • Community parks and gardens 
  • 501(c)3 non-profit organizations
If your charitable organization could use a helping hand, we’d like to talk to you! Please submit a Volunteer Request Form or call our Community Engagement Team at (256) 386-5000.

*Bank Independent strives for cultural, educational, ethnic and racial diversity and believes in equal opportunity when considering donations, sponsorships and community outreach opportunities. We will not discriminate based upon a person’s age, ethnicity, gender, national origin, disability, race, size, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic background, other than as allowed by law.


You can donate to the Helping Hands Foundation all year long and 100% of your donation will go to support local community organizations and efforts.

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Request a Donation or Sponsorship

Request a monetary donation, sponsorship or BI promotional items.

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Request Volunteers

Could your charitable organization or community event use some extra Helping Hands? Request assistance from BI team members.


Our story

Learn more about what makes Bank Independent different from other financial institutions.

Share Drives

Our Helping Hands volunteer initiative shed light on other needs in our communities.

Our team members came back to work after a day of volunteering and told us that they felt great about the differences they made when they pitched in to help.  But they also realized how much more these organizations needed, and how much they depended upon donations from the community to stay open.

Animal shelters needed much more than their budgets allowed to provide food and medication to the animals. Food banks would be overrun with donations during the holidays, but would be low on food for kids during the summer months, when there were no school meal programs to feed them. And organizations that provided school supplies to kids in the fall, like the Committee on Church Cooperation in Decatur, needed help from the community to manage the demand.

We thought about this, and about how we could help with those needs, too.  We already had a donation drive in place to collect toys for local kids in all of our branches, and it was really successful.  We took that concept and ran with it, and our quarterly share drives were the result.

Our February Shelter Share drive assists our furry friends through our collection of pet food and supplies to donate directly to local animal shelters.

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The Food Share non-perishable food collection event takes place at the end of the school year to help our local food banks stock up for the summer.

In July, the School Share event helps our area’s teachers and students gear up for the upcoming school year with donations of backpacks, school supplies and classroom materials.

Kicking off on the day after Thanksgiving, our Toy Share drive grows every year with the donations of more and more new, unwrapped toys.