Live Oak Bank Supports a Little Kid with a Big Heart

Through a $3,000 donation, Live Oak Bank helped a little boy jump start his fundraising efforts.

Wilington, NC, November 17, 2011 --( Last March, when little Stevie Nelson reached out to Live Oak Bank requesting a donation to help build the Northeast Nebraska Humane Society, they couldn’t say no. At the age of six, he single-handedly (with a little help from his mom) raised $25,778. Instead of a birthday party, all he wanted was be able to help animals in need of a loving home. His quest to help animals stemmed from the loss of his two black Labrador Retrievers the previous year. After months of searching and praying, his canine companions never returned home. He hopes that his donations to the shelter will provide housing, food and toys for animals throughout northeast Nebraska. “He’s always had a love for animals and his dream is to be a veterinarian,” says Dawn Nelson, Stevie’s mother. “Little did I know that his desire to help animals in our small town in Nebraska would gain momentum allowing him to far surpass his initial fundraising goal of $6,000. Not only have companies like Live Oak Bank and individuals across the country made generous donations, he has also been recognized on a national level for his fundraising efforts. In July, we received a phone call from The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) saying that he had won their coveted 'Kid of the Year Award,' which he will receive in New York City on November 17th. You can imagine how exciting all of this attention is for a six year old!”

“When we heard of Stevie’s aspirations to help the humane society, we were touched. We had no idea what a huge impact he would make,” commented JoAnn McKenzie, Treasurer for the Northeast Nebraska Humane Society. "We are putting the money he has raised towards the construction of a new shelter along with using it for the care and essential needs of misplaced animals."

Jim Mahan, Director of Marketing at Live Oak Bank, was the first bank employee to receive Dawn’s plea to help her son. “As a dog owner, my heart went out to the kid after hearing that he had lost his dogs two days prior to his fifth birthday. Since we were in the position to help, we wanted to do what we could to assist him in reaching his goal. We are in awe of this little boy’s huge heart, and we hope that one day he will accomplish his childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian. I am sure he will make a remarkable one.”

Here’s a video to learn more about Stevie’s story:

In 2007, Live Oak Bank started to provide veterinary business loans to small, independent businesspeople looking to expand, remodel, refinance and/or acquire an existing practice. From the beginning, we took a personal approach and saw our clients not as numbers, but as real people facing real-life opportunities and challenges. We offer big bank expertise but provide personal attention to all of our customers to ensure their long-term success. It worked - for us as well as our clients - and we expanded our veterinary funding programs to serve the needs of private pharmacies and dental offices across the country. For additional information about Live Oak Bank, please visit

Live Oak Bank
Laura Petty