Bank also honors Foster, Harris and donates $10,000 to local nonprofits
Home Federal Bank named Wendy Thompson the overall honoree for its 2016 Hometown Heroes community service awards program and presented a total of $10,000 in nonprofit donations at a ceremony at the bank’s Cedar Bluff office, 315 N. Cedar Bluff Road, on Monday, May 2.
Jennifer Foster and Carla Harris also were honored for their contributions to our community.
Since launching in 2010, the Hometown Heroes program has honored 50 volunteers and donated a total of $147,500 to 41 benefiting organizations. This year, eight honorees were selected for their extraordinary volunteer efforts based on nominations from area nonprofits and the general public.
“The Hometown Heroes program continues to spotlight the tremendous pool of dedicated volunteers in our community,” Home Federal Bank Chairman and CEO Dale Keasling said. “People like Jennifer, Carla and Wendy are our Hometown Heroes because they serve selflessly and humbly.”
- Wendy Thompson, age 65, is a tireless servant of those in need, volunteering three days per week at Western Heights Baptist Center where she serves 150 families each day. Among those she serves are individuals who are homeless, suffering from mental illness, those with language barriers and others who have criminal backgrounds. Thompson also is an engaged member and volunteer at Parkway Baptist Church.
Home Federal Bank donated $5,000 to Western Heights Baptist Center in recognition of Thompson’s selection as this year’s overall program honoree. Located in the Western Heights community, the organization works to meet the physical and spiritual needs of all people by offering free food, clothing and household items.
- Jennifer Foster is passionate about helping young people facing difficult life situations. She spends every Monday afternoon at Thrive Lonsdale tutoring middle school students and providing life skills instruction for them. She also takes a group of elementary school students to a weekly Bible study at Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church and regularly attends students’ sporting events, providing snacks and other resources.
Home Federal Bank presented a $2,500 donation to Thrive Lonsdale in Foster’s honor. The after school/mentoring program seeks to connect children with deep spiritual, emotional, academic and physical needs with caring adults who have been blessed with abundance in those areas.
- Carla Harris is well known in West Knoxville through her history of volunteer service at West Hills Elementary and Bearden Middle schools and current service on the Foundation Board of Bearden High School. The busy mother of three also is deeply committed to serving Safe Familes for Children and first became involved with the organization when she volunteered to host two young children in her home for a month while their parents found jobs. She currently volunteers as a host mom, mentor, Bible study leader and board member.
Home Federal Bank donated $2,500 to Safe Families for Children, a ministry of Bethany Christian Services, in Harris’ honor. Safe Families for Children gives hope to families in crisis and serves as an alternative to foster care. Through this network, volunteer host families provide a place for parents in crisis to temporarily place their children due to unmanageable or critical circumstances while they establish stability in their homes.
“In addition to affording us the opportunity to recognize some commendable individuals, Hometown Heroes allows us to financially support many area nonprofits that do a lot of important work in our community,” Keasling said.
In addition to Foster, Harris and Thompson, other 2016 Hometown Heroes honorees include:
- Nell R. Alfaro, benefiting The Free Medical Clinic of America
- Susy Gray, benefiting Friends of Literacy
- Bill Keeler, Fountain City Ministry Center
- Tom Buchanan, St. Jude Children’s Hospital
- Sterling Isaac Fisher, Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park
About Home Federal Bank of Tennessee
Founded in 1924, Home Federal Bank of Tennessee is a locally owned, full-service bank serving East Tennesseans through 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.