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Banks Respond to Tennessee Tornadoes with Donations, Relief Efforts

Tornadoes killed 25 people in Tennessee last week and caused huge amounts of damage, prompting community banks to step in

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Banks Respond to Tennessee Tornadoes with Donations, Relief Efforts

Banks and financial institutions in Tennessee have taken measures to help communities affected by the devastating tornadoes that ripped through the state last week.

Tornadoes hit middle Tennessee on March 3, killing 25 and causing huge amounts of damage to houses and other buildings.

In response, Truist Financial Corporation has donated $225,000 to support communities impacted by the tornadoes. The donation includes $100,000 to the American Red Cross from the Truist Charitable Fund to aid first responders as they provide relief to people who have lost their homes and need food and shelter.

The bank will also donate $75,000 to The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and $50,000 to the Cookeville Putnam County Tornado Relief Fund.

“Truist has deep roots in the Middle Tennessee region, and we are committed to assisting the recovery and rebuilding efforts in the days ahead,” said Truist chairman and CEO Kelly King. “Several of our leaders had a chance to visit with our teammates in Cookeville earlier this week and see some of the devastation first-hand. The need is great, and we are dedicated to helping these communities recover.”

Truist’s East Tennessee region president Christian Corts added: “We will continue to assess the aftermath of the tornadoes to ensure our Cookeville-area teammates and communities are well-supported in this time of need.”

Toyota Financial Services has offered payment relief options to customers affected by the tornados. Customers of Toyota or Lexus Financial Services “may be eligible to take advantage of several payment relief options”, the company said in a statement.

These included extensions and lease deferred payments, redirecting billing statements, and arranging phone or online payments.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Tennessee, Carter County Bank and Mountain Community Bank have partnered with local organizations to collect donations of household items to distribute to families affected by the disaster, as well as school supplies to help keep schools in operation. The Lebanon Fire Department is to handle distribution.

“Tennessee is our home and the people of this great state are known for selfless volunteerism and a giving nature,” the Bank of Tennessee stated on its website.

Wells Fargo supports COVID-19 efforts

Separately, Wells Fargo’s charitable foundation last week announced that it was donating “up to $6.25 million” to support the US and global response to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The funding included $1 million for the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Emergency Relief Fund and $250,000 to the International Medical Corps. Wells Fargo said it also planned to donate up to $5 million to help address “community-specific needs in the coming months”.

“We recognize and appreciate the role of front-line health care providers as they apply their expertise on this fast-moving issue and care for the well-being of our communities,” said Bill Daley, vice chairman of public affairs at Wells Fargo and chairman of the Wells Fargo Foundation. “We also continue to monitor this situation closely for our employees, customers and the communities we serve and are prepared to adapt as needed.”

The bank has activated assistance for its employees through a separate fund, providing grants to those affected by coronavirus. The funds are “intended to help team members, especially those with limited resources, get back on their feet with basic necessities”, the company said.

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