Each year, Golden Valley Bank employees and Directors choose a worthy cause or organization for which to raise funds. This year the employees chose Little Red Hen (LRH) and have been hosting events to raise money. Our Client Services Representative, Leslie holds LRH particularly close to her heart as she is highly involved with the organization with her own son having autism. She suggested an idea to put out a coin jar for folks to donate unused change at the Bank. Our Coin Drive has been active for a month now and we've collected quite a bit of change. We asked Leslie to tell her story and why LRH means so much to her.
“I have been working with Golden Valley Bank for 6 years as a Client Services Specialist on the teller line. I have met and served many of our customers and love working for a true, community bank. I would like to share my story about why I am so passionate about a local nonprofit, Little Red Hen.
When I was a teller at a previous Bank, I met a little boy named Alex. He made visits to the bank with his dad and was a VERY busy boy. I was always happy to leave the teller line and go play with him on the staircase so his dad could take care of his banking and I enjoyed the interaction.
Fast forward to 2006…we learned that our 4 year old son Stoney has autism. We started to make our way through the scary and unknown path of raising a child with autism.
One day, a flyer came home from school about FLOCK (Feeling like a Common Kid), a summer camp program associated with Little Red Hen (LRH) Lifespan Center and California State University, Chico. Stoney got signed up and he began several years of successful summer camps. He learned social skills and independence, explored CSU, Chico, the city of Chico, the wonderful parks and businesses all while making new friends.
One day, when I picked up Stoney from camp, I heard him say goodbye to a young man named Alex. A few moments went by and then it hit me…wait a minute… could that be “that” Alex?
The next day I had Stoney introduce me and during our conversation I asked his last name. Yep, it was him. I asked him if he remembered coming to the bank when he was little. Sure enough he said… “I remember playing on the big staircase!”
He was doing so well! He was a camp mentor at FLOCK, attending CSU, Chico (graduated) all while working with his mom at her Little Red Hen non-profit doing accounting/tech jobs. What an amazing example for Stoney. My heart was filled with joy for Alex and hope for my own son and his future.
Stoney also attends a teen group on Friday’s at LRH Lifespan Center and it has brought so much happiness to his life. Brooke and the staff there are amazing. Stoney’s smile when he walks in every week says everything.
Teresa, the owner of LRH, saw a need in our community and took action. Because of her hard work and dedication, we received the gift of Little Red Hen. I hope many more learn about LRH, are inspired by them and continue to support them.
Little Red Hen gives opportunities, resources and support for so many. Not just the employees, but their families as well. The future is scary when you have a special needs child that is quickly becoming an adult, but LRH fills my heart with hope and optimism and that is everything.”
- Leslie Akers, Golden Valley Bank Client Services Representative for 6 years