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Diane Henningsen calling the debit card hotline to activate Lou's card.

The Story Lou Will Never Know

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If you live in Ellendale, North Dakota, you probably know “*Lou.” Lou isn’t his real name, it’s a nickname (and in this case, it’s not even his real nickname because “Lou” is the type of guy who doesn’t like attention.)

He’s a former Hutterite, 58 years old, and has been banking with Choice Bank for 10 years. He speaks everything with a loud, booming voice, so you can usually hear when he’s nearby. He works at the grain elevator about 15 miles out of Ellendale.

Every morning on his way to work, Lou stops at the gas station to fill up and grab some coffee and cigarettes. Liz Van Aarde, a Client Services Specialist II at Choice Bank in Ellendale, sees him there sometimes — but he usually doesn’t recognize her. Whenever he comes to Choice Bank, he asks for Diane Henningsen.

In fact, Diane is the only banker — and one of only a handful of folks in the community — who has earned Lou’s trust.

“We’ve been working together for a long time. I’ve learned his likes and dislikes,” Diane says, with a laugh.

So when Diane found Lou’s debit card had been hit by a scam, she wanted Lou to know it was being taken care of. In the meantime, however, he couldn’t use his old debit card.

“I use my debit card every day at the gas station!” Lou said. “Just do whatever you gotta do.”

Diane took that to heart. Unfortunately, a few others in the community had been hit by the same scam. (A friendly reminder to review our “Avoid Scam Tips” from Security Steve!) So Diane placed an order for new debit cards to be shipped in the next 1-2 days.

When the package arrived, however, there was one debit card missing.

“Of course, it was Lou’s,” Diane said.

She called Deposit Support to try and track down the package. They found out through UPS that for some reason, Lou’s package had been delivered to his home.

Diane knew what she needed to do.

“I’m going to pick up Lou’s debit card,” she told Liz as she grabbed her jacket.

Lou only lives 10 minutes from the bank, so it was a quick trip. Sure enough, there was a package sitting on Lou’s doorstep. Diane picked it up and headed right back to the bank. She got the card activated and ready to be used. Now she needed to get it to Lou as soon as possible.

Diane knew that another one of Lou’s friends worked right next door to Choice Bank, and happened to live near the grain elevator where Lou would be working late that night. This was another one of those rare friends that Lou trusted — she knew he would be okay with her bringing him the debit card. So she called next door and explained the situation.

“Would you be able to drop off this debit card with Lou?” she asked.

“Of course!”

Lou had his debit card that night. In fact, he even was able to make his daily stop at the gas station.

“He doesn’t even know the journey behind it,” Diane said with a laugh.

Diane is not one to brag about stories like this. But when Liz saw the way Diane went out of her way for Lou, she had to share.

“It’s providing that personalized care,” she said. “She would never mention it to Lou, but I think the backstory is awesome.”

“I knew not having the debit card would have disrupted his day,” Diane said. “It was just ‘doing the right thing.’”

*Name changed for anonymity

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