Date ArticleType
12/31/2013 Member News
MEMBER: 'First Peoples Cares' donations help. . .

‘First Peoples Cares’ donations help community organizations



First Peoples Bank of Tennessee has a motto that says: “Most banks have branches – our bank has roots.”

This truism was affirmed during the 2013 holiday season when all 56 employees from each of the seven First Peoples’ locations took part in a “First Peoples Cares” campaign to collect and contribute paper products and canned foods to benevolent organizations in their communities.

The drive began on November 15 and ended December 20, when directors of these aid organizations came by their local First Peoples Bank to claim their donations.

Van Wolfe, longtime director of SafeSpace, was deeply appreciative for the practical gifts of food and paper products. She said at this time of the year people are generally very kind about bringing toys for the children of SafeSpace residents, but the need for day-to-day supplies is always prevalent.

SafeSpace provides emergency shelter, crisis intervention, court advocacy, resource referrals and counseling to victims of domestic abuse. They offer a haven of caring and safety to women and families who ultimately leave their abusive situations, and need a place they can learn to become self-reliant and feel empowered.

Another local recipient of First Peoples’ generosity was Life Outreach Center in Jefferson City, a Christian organization run by Kathy Gleason. Women in the midst of an unplanned pregnancy find comfort at Life Outreach through spiritual, emotional and physical support, as well as through compassionate counseling. Employees at First Peoples Bank purchased a baby bed and mattress to give to a new mother and baby. The employees had raised the money through their “pay to wear jeans days,” and Gleason was extremely thankful to each and every one of them for the generous gift.

The Hamblen County First Peoples Banks donated to CEASE, another women and children’s refuge from domestic violence. The mission of CEASE is to offer support for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in the community, and to enable them to live violence free lives. CEASE provides shelter, crisis hotline, counseling, support groups, information, referrals, and legal advocacy. Co-directors Linda Remero and Kay Dominguez picked up their donations at the Talbott bank, and graciously thanked everyone for their kindness.

Donations from the Knoxville branches went to the Helen Ross McNabb Center, a provider of mental health, substance abuse treatment and social services in Knox and 16 other East Tennessee counties. More than 10,000 children, adults, and families are expected to receive services through Center programs this year. Rebecca McKnight, Community Relations Specialist for Helen Ross McNabb Center, expressed gratitude for everyone at the center.

A spokesperson at the bank, Becky Cox, said this was the bank employees’ first drive of this sort, but it was so successful that they are hoping to make “First Peoples Cares” a quarterly event.

“We are all excited about that prospect. We have great people,” said Linda Leonard, Marketing and Human Resources Director for the Jefferson City bank.

Cox agreed. “We all just want to be able to make a difference in our communities.”

By Gayle Page Standard Banner Staff | Posted: Tuesday, December 31, 2013.