KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – In response to wildfires that destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses and displaced thousands of residents in Gatlinburg and surrounding areas, the First Tennessee Foundation in November 2016 announced that it would match donations from the public to the East Tennessee Red Cross, up to a total of $50,000, made through any First Tennessee financial center across the state, through year-end of 2016. The results are in and they are stunning: public donations collected were almost $170,000 in addition to First Tennessee Foundation’s match of $50,000 for a total of $220,000 in impact.
“First Tennessee is proud to be Tennessee's bank and we wanted to offer support to those in our communities who suffered loss,” said Pam Fansler, First Tennessee president in East Tennessee. “The generosity of donors who visited our financial centers not only in East Tennessee but across the state is nothing less than amazing and inspiring.”
Disasters create a wide range of emergency needs, more than any one organization can meet. It takes a large network of people and organizations to ensure that communities and individuals receive the help they need. The Red Cross is one member of the local, state and federal disaster response community, and works closely with the entire disaster response network to coordinate relief efforts and help people to recover.
Since the wildfires began, more than 400 Red Cross workers from across the country have:
• Served about 39,000 meals and snacks.
• Provided more than 3,000 overnight stays in seven emergency shelters
• Provided 3,000 health services and emotional support contacts
“Each disaster is different, but we adapt our resources to the needs of the individuals we serve. The Red Cross opens shelters to make sure people have a safe place to stay, a hot meal and access to other support from trained volunteers, including our Red Cross health and mental health volunteers who travel to disaster sites to help people cope. We are appreciative of our partners, like First Tennessee Foundation, whose support ensures that an affected community receives both compassionate care and has their basic needs met in their darkest hour.” said Mary Beth Birge, Regional Disaster Director for the Tennessee Red Cross.
First Tennessee is part of the First Horizon National Corp. (NYSE:FHN) family of companies, and the First Tennessee Foundation is sponsored by First Tennessee.