April 30, 2015
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Bank donates $2,500 to Mental Health Association of East Tennessee in Wilder’s name
Home Federal Bank named Tina Wilder a 2015 Hometown Hero and presented a $2,500 donation in her honor to Mental Health Association of East Tennessee at a ceremony at the bank’s Cedar Bluff office, 315 N. Cedar Bluff Road, on Thursday, April 30.
Home Federal Bank’s Hometown Heroes community service awards program spotlights community volunteers who make East Tennessee a more comfortable place for all of us. They mentor our kids; support our seniors; advocate for our most vulnerable; care for our animals; expand our region’s cultural opportunities; and serve in other ways. Eight 2015 honorees were selected for their extraordinary volunteer efforts based on nominations from area nonprofits and the general public.
The honorees, chosen based on their volunteer work in our community, selected a local nonprofit for a $2,500 donation in their names. From these finalists, an overall honoree will have an additional $2,500 donation to his or her chosen nonprofit.
“This is the fifth year of the Hometown Heroes program, and each year I gain a renewed appreciation for our community’s volunteers,” Home Federal Bank President and CEO Dale Keasling said. “People like Tina, who worked hard to overcome her struggles with schizophrenia and now offers a lifeline to others struggling with mental illness, exemplify what it means to be a Hometown Hero.”
Despite being hospitalized 16 times, Wilder has worked tirelessly to manage and recover from schizophrenia. Instead of running from her history of mental health issues, Wilder decided to serve others in the same difficult position. She now is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist and volunteers 40 hours per week in the Mental Health Association of East Tennessee Peer Recovery Call Center helping others with a mental health diagnosis get needed assistance to continue their recovery journey. Her willingness to talk openly about her prior struggles with schizophrenia helps break the code of silence about mental illness, and her sparkling approach to life and passion for recovery heroically model daily that mental illness is real, diagnosable and treatable and that recovery is achievable.
“Hometown Heroes affords us the opportunity to recognize some commendable individuals,” Keasling said. “At the same time, the program also allows us to financially support many area nonprofits that do a lot of important work in our community.”
Mental Health Association of East Tennessee Executive Director Ben Harrington accepted the donation. Affiliated with the National Mental Health Association and founded locally in 1948, the organization is dedicated to educating the community about mental health issues; advocating for those who are not able to do so for themselves; and improving the mental health system in our communities.
About Home Federal Bank of Tennessee
Home Federal Bank of Tennessee is a locally owned, full-service bank serving East Tennesseans through 23 offices in Knox, Anderson, Blount and Sevier counties. Every quarter since 1991, the bank has earned a 5-Star Superior rating – the highest possible – by independent authority BauerFinancial. For more information, visit http://www.homefederalbanktn.com.