Making It Count

Bite of Reality

We are incredibly proud of our financial literacy training.  For the last three years, Desert Valleys has partnered with the Richard Myles Johnson Foundation to provide the Bite of Reality program.  Each year, the program has grown by more than 30%.  In 2016, we had to move into the community convention center.  Now we're talking about hosting it in the schools.

More About  Bite

Supported  by our Leaders

Bite of Reality is a two-and-a-half-hour, hands-on simulation that appeals to teens while giving them a taste of real-world financial realities. Teens are given a fictional occupation, salary, spouse and family, student loan debt, credit card debt, and medical insurance payments. The teens then walk around to various table-top stations to “purchase” housing, transportation, food, clothing, household necessities, day care, and other needs. Fortunately, the game also includes a “credit union” to help with their financial needs.

This interactive activity will teach teens how to make financial decisions and give them a better understanding of the challenges of living on a budget. Teens will have to deal with a pushy “car salesperson” and a commission-based “realtor,” and weigh their wants versus their needs. There’s even a “Fickle Finger of Fate” that will give some of the students unexpected “expenses” or “windfalls”—just like in real life.
Our local leaders know the importance of helping our youth become finanically literate.

Community  Sponsorships

Every year, Desert Valleys seeks to make a difference in our community.  We search high and low, with open applications and through our outreach to find events and programs that we can sponsor.  We help those who uphold our values and give back to our family through their awesome contribution to our community.

2016 Sponsorships

Young Engineers & Scientists (YES) of Ridgecrest
James Monroe Middle School
Almost Eden Animal Rescue
Trona Youth Football
IWV Youth Football
Ridgecrest Autism Awareness
​Sidewinders Baseball
Trona Community Chest
Burroughs Boosters
Police & Community Together (PACT)
Youth Advisory Committee of Ridgecrest
If you have an organization which is interested in applying for a grant from the foundation, please email us at [email protected].

Grant requests are reviewed quarterly and awarded by the committee. The average grant amount can range from $250 to $1,000. Grant eligibility must be established via an application.

We're not just here to hold your money.
We're here to make a difference

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Gift of Knowledge

Membership Appreciate Day is something special at Desert Valleys.  We love the chance to thank our incredible membership for allowing us to be part of their lives.  And since Membership Appreciate Day falls squarely in the holiday season, we take the opportunity to add Christmas flare to our festivities.

Each December for many years, we host the big man himself, Santa Clause, and enourage our membership to take pictures with him.  In 2016, we started a new tradition to focus on financial literacy for children.

We purchase more than $1,000 worth of childrens books that focus on financial literacy, such as the Berenstain Bears & the Trouble with Money and A Dollar, A Penny, How Much, How Many?  After pictures with Santa, children can sign a 'commitment' to do chores for an allowance.  Once they make this pledge with their family, they are able to select a gift of a book.  We handed out more than 200 books in 2016.

We love the chance to give back.
The chance to teach makes it even better.

In addition to our Membership Appreciate celebration and the gifts of books to children, Desert Valleys works every year with Toys for Tots through our local Marine Corps chapter.  We collect and wrap gifts and support the efforts to give gifts to those who would go without.

Answering the Call

In late summer 2016, tragedy struck our neighboring community.  The Erskine Fire in East Kern claimed two lives, 257 homes, and more than 30,000 acres.
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​​A loss of this magnitude is felt by all, and Desert Valley was no exception.  In response, staff coordinated with community volunteers to gather goods, food, and water.  Multiple trucks and trailers, loaded with supplies, made the journey to Kern River Valley to provide relief.
In addition to gathering supplies and helping deliver them, Desert Valleys used its outreach network to solicit donations to a relief account opened in support of the fire's victims.  More than $40,000 was raised and sent to families in need.

While we hope help of this kind is rarely needed, we are ready to lend a hand to neighbors in need.

Team  Building

Being part of the Desert Valleys team is more than a job, it's a family.  We pride ourselves in caring for our family, making sure that they are valued, celebrated, and trained.

Throughout the year, we take time and use resources to compete in friendly challenges, train with workshops and consultants, and maintain our family spirit.

SCCUA Olympics

Each year, Desert Valleys participates in the Southern California Credit Union Association (SCCUA) Olympics.  This is a great opportunity for family fun and team building.  We train, we laugh, and we get closer as a family.

Here's our video for the 2016 SCCUA Olympics:

We're more than a team, we're family.


Internation Credit Union (ICU) Day is just another opportunity to bring our community together and dote on our employees.  We invite food trucks and our local animal rescue nonprofit to be part of the fun.  We love to take any chance we get to involve our neighbors and do something fun.
'We're here for you'

Be the Credit Union difference.