The Trumann Chamber of Commerce normally chooses an active person in the community to receive the “Volunteer of the Year” award. This was the year they had to add an “s.” Southern Bancorp employees receive volunteer of the year award from Trumann Chamber of Commerce.Employees at Southern Bancorp were recognized as a group for the many contributions they have made to the Trumann community.

Their volunteer work included donating time to the food pantry, poll watching, serving food at the Chamber’s annual Wild Duck Festival and helping out at sporting events in at the Trumann Sports Complex.

Bancorp South staffers also worked for several organizations, such as Cops for Kids, the Boy Scouts, the American Legion, the Fine Arts Council and the Wild Duck Golf Tournament.

Some bank employees even helped go door-to-door, in the middle of summer, to collect surveys as part of a grant application for the Chamber of Commerce.

Southern Bancorp president Rick Gillette said his employees have always been involved in the community, but it wasn’t until January of last year that the bank began to track their hours of community service.

“I’ve always thought of us as a family, but volunteering brings us closer,” said Gillette.

There also is a point system set up by Southern Bancorp which rewards employees who donate their time and energy to improving the community.

“I heard a lot of stories about how much employees enjoyed serving at the food pantry,” said Gillette. “I think that was one of the projects that made the strongest impact.”

Sandy Nunnally, Judy Hogan, Imogene Stone, Sheri Jones and Shirley Benson were just a handful of the Southern Bancorp employees who worked at the food pantry. Shirley Benson said she enjoyed helping people in need. The other women agreed, adding, “There was a great need in Trumann and it was just the good Christian thing to do to help out a neighbor.”