Member Story: Helping Hand

The support of Adirondack Regional Federal Credit Union helps this mother and her young daughter find a fresh start.
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Elizabeth Favaro and her daughterElizabeth Favaro had already done the hard work to start rebuilding her life after moving past a turbulent relationship. 

But when she needed a little help getting her financial house in order, we were there to help.

It was 2020, and Favaro, who now lives in Cumberland Head, had moved into temporary housing with her then-infant daughter after returning to the North Country from a stint in North Carolina. She was between jobs, and her grandmother wanted to help her out by sending money. But Favaro didn’t have a permanent address where she could get mail, other than the house where her ex lived. 

So she went to Adirondack Regional’s Plattsburgh branch and asked teller Ken LaVair for advice.

“I was in a position where I didn’t know what to do,” Favaro says. “I needed to open up a bank account, but I couldn’t send the checks where I had been living. And that’s when Ken said my grandmother could send them right to the branch.”

Every so often, Favaro would go to the branch to deposit the waiting checks. “And I was able to start having gas money to go places,” she says.

That helped her catch up with everything necessary to start fresh. Soon, she found a 2-bedroom apartment for her and her daughter, now 4. She bought a well-used car, cash, that she owns. And she’s found a job with the Adirondack Birth-to-3 Alliance, a local nonprofit group that seeks to improve childcare opportunities in Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties.

“Things have done a complete 180,” she says. 

Financial stability was key to opening a lot of doors. When she moved back to Plattsburgh, she already knew Adirondack Regional—she was a member in the past, and it was where she wanted to start again. 

“The credit union is part of the community,” she says. “They’re more understanding. I can tell them my story. They made me feel safe.”

Now, with so much in her rear view mirror, she’s looking forward. Last year, she opened a savings account for Alexandria, where Favaro deposits money to be sure there is enough to pay for clothes and other expenses. Eventually, she’ll help Alexandria use it to understand the value of financial independence. And while she’s a little young to do her own banking now, Favaro is already giving her money lessons: They’ll go to a store, and if Alexandria sees something she wants, Favaro will encourage her to use her own money.

Other than that, Alexandria knows the credit union as a place where the staff will give her a warm greeting—and slip her some candy, to boot.

“I pick up my daughter and she wants to go to the bank,” says Favaro, who also works at Gus' Red Hots. “I know if we go there, we’re going to be there for 20 minutes. And it’s not because there’s a line.”


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