Austin Bank donates $2,500 to The Salvation Army

Money will be used to help families in the Cleveland area

Austin Bank of Cleveland made a $2,500 donation to Salvation Army representatives Frieda White (center) and Preston and Paige Bostwick during an open house at the bank on Wednesday, Dec. 9. Making the presentation on behalf of Austin Bank were Tasha Childress, senior vice president and Retail Market Manager for the Cleveland branch of Austin Bank, and Jeff Austin III, vice chairman of Austin Bank. The money donated to Salvation Army will help provide for families in need during the holiday season.

Austin Bank provided some Christmas cheer on Wednesday by donating $2,500 to the Cleveland branch of The Salvation Army. The money will be used to provide food and other relief to families in the Cleveland area during the holiday season.

The check presentation coincided with Austin Bank’s open house for the Cleveland branch, which had been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Accepting the check on behalf of The Salvation Army was Frieda White, welfare secretary for The Salvation Army for 19 years. White, and her husband, Rev. Bob White, are best known in the Cleveland community for their many years of leadership of Liberty Church and Operation Refuge, and organizing bell-ringing campaigns for The Salvation Army.

Jeff Austin Jr., chairman of Austin Bank, participated remotely in an open house at Austin Bank’s Cleveland branch on Wednesday while Tasha Childress, senior vice president and Retail Market Manager, and Jeff Austin III, vice chairman of Austin Bank, look on.

In addition to the cash contribution, the bank organized a toy donation for The Salvation Army. White said the money will be put to good use and the toys will be distributed to children in need.

“We’ve had about 40 families per day coming in to ask for help. They need food and toys for their children for Christmas, so thank you,” White said.

Through a remote video stream, Austin Bank Chairman Jeff Austin Jr. added that The Salvation Army is there when no one else shows up.

“We are glad to be part of the Cleveland community and Liberty County. We’ve had some unfortunate circumstances with hurricanes, COVID and you name it, but we are all going to survive. Hopefully in 2022, we won’t have to worry about this virus. Notice that I am skipping 2021,” Austin said with a laugh.

Following his father, Jeff Austin III, who attended the open house, added that the check presentation and construction of the bank are the fulfillment of promises that Austin Bank made many months ago when they picked Cleveland as a location for a branch.

“When we made a promise last year that we were going to build this facility, we followed through on that. We are here. We also made a promise to be a part of the community and you can see by this that we are excited to do just that. This would not be possible without our local team. You all are the ones making it happen right here,” said Austin III, gesturing to the branch staff.

The Cleveland branch is led by Senior Vice President and Retail Market Manager Tasha Childress, Executive Vice President and Regional President Lowell Little, Vice President and Relationship Manager Mike Penry, and Senior Vice President and Market Manager Daniel Wolfson. The lending assistant is Linda Vandver and the universal bankers are Alex Rogers, Yeimi Renteria and Lizbet Portillo.

Austin Bank is located at 807 E. Houston St., Cleveland, and can be reached by calling 281-806-3136. The website is

Tasha Childress, senior vice president and Retail Market Manager for Austin Bank in Cleveland, welcomes guests to an open house on Wednesday at the bank’s location at 807 E. Houston St., Cleveland. Austin Bank, started by the Austin family of Jacksonville, Texas, has been in business for more than 100 years. Pictured with Childress is Jim Carson, CEO for the Greater Cleveland Chamber of Commerce.
Jeff Austin III, the vice chair of Austin Bank, explains that the $2,500 check given to Salvation Army on Wednesday is part of Austin Bank’s commitment to the Cleveland community. Pictured left to right are Preston Bostwick and Frieda White with Salvation Army, and Tasha Childress and Jeff Austin III.
Banking has changed over the years. Teller positions have evolved into what are now known as universal bankers. Austin Bank in Cleveland has three universal bankers – Alex Rogers (standing, right), Yeimi Renteria and Lizbet Portillo (first and second from left, respectively). They are pictured with Santa Claus and Tasha Childress, senior vice president and Retail Market Manager for the Cleveland branch of Austin Bank.
Russ Gideon, the president and CEO of Austin Bank, was unable to attend the open house at the bank’s Cleveland branch on Wednesday, but he offered some remarks to those who gathered to celebrate with the bank’s staff. Pictured holding the computer is Tasha Childress, senior vice president and Regional Market Manager for the Cleveland branch, and Jeff Austin III, vice chairman of Austin Bank.
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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.


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