MES first-grade teachers

Murray Elementary School’s first-grade teachers are pictured at Murray-Calloway County Need Line.

MURRAY - A week before greeting their Tigers inside classrooms, Murray Elementary staff shared kindness and good will throughout the Murray/Calloway County community in collaboration with Independence Bank’s “Here For Good” program. 

Assisting a Vietnam veteran and his friends fix a broken down car, while providing seven families lunch, purchasing gas and cold drinks for residents, food for the Murray-Calloway County Animal Shelter, school supplies for families,  donations for Need Line, and Special Olympics were only a few of the good deeds the MES staff shared through the “Here For Good” program.

Heidi Shultz, president, Calloway County Independence Bank, explained how Independence Bank had the opportunity to play a small role with the staff at Murray Elementary School, as they went out into the Murray/Calloway community spreading kindness to organizations and individuals alike. Shultz shared $400 with MES from Independence Bank by disbursing $50 cash (with no restrictions) to eight respective MES teacher groups. Kindergarten, first, second, and third grades, front office personnel, arts and humanities teachers, and two MES resource team groups began the ripple effect. 

“Often times, we think of impact as what we are able to do for others,” said Shultz. “But what we find in the process and after hearing their stories, is that it’s those who are giving that are truly blessed in return and I’m honored that we were able to play a part in that. Independence Bank has vowed to be ‘Here For Good,’ serving the communities we love and call home through spreading good everywhere we go. Our hope is that these acts of kindness will serve as a catalyst for others to step up and do the same to create even more good around us.”  

Shultz said at Independence Bank their belief of serving goes beyond the four-walls of banking. “We believe in serving in a way that’s about creating impact and leading in a way that invites and inspires others to join us.”

Robin Brown, MES kindergarten teacher, whose kindergarten team assisted a Vietnam veteran in fixing his broken car, also provided lunch for him and seven of his friends, said it was a great day. “Originally, we had planned to purchase five $10 gift cards at McDonalds,” he said. “However that changed when we saw a man in need of our help with his car.”

Kandi Dawson, MES third grade teacher, and the MES third grade students  selected their gift to benefit the Moses Basket. The Moses Basket is a local nonprofit organization which assists children entering foster care in gaining access to much-needed items when going to their new homes. “We were very blessed to be included in this opportunity by Independence Bank,” Dawson said.  “All of the teachers enjoyed this activity and saw great value in it.”

Shultz visited the MES staff afterwards and expressed Independence Bank’s hope. “Our goal is to inspire others in the community, creating a ripple effect, by going out and doing good deeds for others in our community. “

Brown said as an educator there was an inspirational impact. “This made me feel good helping others, and as an MISD employee, where our staff is part of our historical tradition, pride, and excellence, our acts of kindness deepened this meaning as we assisted everyone, not just our Tigers.”

“Our school is very grateful for all the support from our community. We were very excited to give back and show kindness in creative ways. The smiles that we created were priceless, and we hope to continue to find more ways to spread kindness in our school and community throughout the 2021-2022 school year,” said Denise Whitaker, MES principal.