Giving Thanks: The Power of Trade

By Julia Davis

A crisp chill fills the air, leaves are piling up in the yard, and pumpkin cookies are in the oven. These, among many others, are just a few signs that autumn is among us and time to relax and renew with family is finally drawing near.

Thanksgiving is a time when most of us gather together with loved ones to catch up on recent events, give thanks for all that we have, and most importantly, watch the National Dog Show. Okay, maybe the National Dog Show is just my family but regardless, it is a highlight of the year in my house.

But for veteran Tradebank of Chattanooga Broker, Denise Miles, Thanksgiving of 2014 was different. Rather than the typical fall festivities, her family was dealing with an unthinkable tragedy – a house fire.

Sparking from faulty wiring in their rental home, a lamp in the living room started the chain of events that would soon alter their lives. It was “within minutes”, Denise says, that most of the home was engulfed in flames. Luckily her daughter, Holly, was able to safely evacuate and call for help before it was too late.

Their family home since 2002, Denise says they lost about “eighty percent” of their belongings in the fire, some being irreplaceable family items. And with Denise and her three children displaced just before the holiday, a bright side wasn’t in sight. 

Luckily, one of her Tradebank of Chattanooga clients was generous enough to donate four rooms at one of his hotels to her family for one week after the fire (one for her and each of her grown children). This, along with a letter to all of the Tradebank offices from Tradebank of Chattanooga’s Regional Owner, Jurgen Mootz, helped get Denise’s family back on their feet.

From Jurgen’s letter to fellow Tradebank offices, Denise received over T$5,000 in donations from Tradebank employees and clients alike. On top of this, the annual Chattanooga Trade Show was filled with household items that would help put their lives back together. At the show alone, Denise was able to purchase various items – most notably linens and mattresses – all from the Trade Dollars that employees and clients had generously donated the week prior.

The family was able to go back to the home after 3 months of devastation and rebuilding. 

But, from the worst moments come some of the most wonderful. If it wasn’t for the fire, Denise would have not been able to imagine the generosity that would come from her Tradebank colleagues and clients. And if it wasn’t for that generosity, her family would have struggled for much longer. 

Tradebank is so fortunate to have been there when Denise and her family were most in need. Her story is just one of the many ways that Trade has been able to make a true difference in the lives of our employees and clients.