In August, a devastating storm rocked Tennessee’s Humphreys County. Within the metropolis of Waverly, Apex Financial institution workers not solely rescued their neighbors however helped affected households rebuild their lives and grieve for his or her family members.
By William Atkinson
Group banks go above and past the decision of service to their communities in numerous methods. Some, although, like $934 million-asset Apex Financial institution in Camden, Tenn., reply that decision in methods that may solely be described as exceptional.
On Aug. 21, 2021, Humphreys County, situated about 90 minutes from Nashville, noticed catastrophic flooding from a big storm system that moved via the state. A record-breaking 17 inches of rain fell in simply 24 hours. About 20 individuals have been killed and at the least 40 extra are nonetheless unaccounted for. Tons of of houses and companies have been destroyed, and hundreds of native residents have been left with out energy or entry to meals, clear water or clothes.
Numerous companies from throughout the state converged to assist with rescue efforts and catastrophe aid. Apex Financial institution was amongst these main the restoration efforts in its group.
“It’s arduous to think about shedding every thing you personal in a matter of minutes, however that’s what occurred to over 500 households right here on Aug. 21.”
—Marcus Vine, Apex Financial institution
Being there for the group
“I first arrived within the downtown space because the water was receding on that Saturday morning,” says Marcus Vine, Apex Financial institution’s group financial institution president. “Since our financial institution sits on barely greater floor, neither our financial institution nor our group heart have been broken by floodwaters.”
Vine started speaking with a younger couple he occurred to see sitting on the entrance steps of the group heart. They defined that they had simply misplaced every thing within the flood. “They have been nonetheless soaking moist and coated in mud, and that’s when the magnitude of the harm started to hit me,” he says.
Vine instantly opened the group heart, permitting it to function a shelter for these in want. He organized for meals and provides to be introduced in from a neighboring county. “Apex workforce members started to point out up, and we started assembly wants and feeding individuals simply hours after the flood,” Vine says.
A kind of workers was Stacy Shatswell, the Waverly, Tenn., workplace department supervisor. “Stacy was hands-on in working the middle and coordinating supply and distribution of provides all all through the group,” Vine says.
The group heart grew to become a central hub for these in want of nonperishable meals, clothes, hygiene gadgets and different provides. Financial institution workers and others cooked and served as many as 1,500 scorching meals day by day from its kitchen. All advised, the middle ran 24/7 for seven straight weeks.
“It’s arduous to think about shedding every thing you personal in a matter of minutes,” Vine says, “however that’s what occurred to over 500 households right here on Aug. 21.”
Responding to the catastrophe
Apex Financial institution established a particular account for gathering and distributing catastrophe aid donations. As of mid-October, the group financial institution had collected and disbursed greater than $194,000, which has benefited 188 households.
These funds have been used to assist in cleanup efforts, present momentary housing and even make down funds on autos; about 1,500 autos have been broken within the storm.
Donations proceed to roll in, and the financial institution disburses them every day. Vine factors to the instance of Adam Mullinax, a mortgage officer on the Waverly workplace who spent the morning of the flood utilizing his boat to rescue individuals up and down the town’s Essential Avenue. Since then, Mullinax has spent numerous hours assembly with victims and securing funds.
Constructing again stronger
The Apex Financial institution workforce realized that there was much more they may do.
“A few days after the flood, because it grew to become obvious that the lack of life would seemingly be nice, and that many individuals have been nonetheless on the lacking individuals checklist, we knew that our group can be getting ready for a number of funeral providers,” Vine says. In response, Matt Daniels, Apex Financial institution president and CEO, reached out to Vine and requested him to assist with each funeral expense in Waverly.
The group financial institution made the choice to donate $2,500 to assist defray funeral bills to every household that misplaced a member of the family. “We have been capable of serve 18 households throughout the group and pay over $47,000 towards the funeral bills of their family members,” Vine says.
Vine merely sees Apex Financial institution’s efforts as a part of being a great neighbor. Nonetheless, the Waverly group has been appreciative of the financial institution and its employees. “Collectively, over time,” he says, “we’ll construct this group again stronger than earlier than.”
William Atkinson is a author in Illinois.