BOONVILLE — Employees and supporters of YVEDDI gathered on Thursday to celebrate the organization’s 50th anniversary. YVEDDI was established in response to President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty.”
Joe C. Matthews coordinated a group of 26 area citizens to join together in the development of a Community Action Agency and hence the Yadkin Valley Economic Development District Inc. (YVEDDI) was born.
“We have a very solid foundation of caring people caring about others and compassionate, very committed people,” YVEDDI Executive Director Kathy Payne said. “Fifty years is a long time to be around and even with struggles from time to time with funding cuts we seem to prevail and I think we will for another 50 years.”
YVEDDI serves residents in Davie, Stokes, Surry and Yadkin counties. The organization provides a number of services to help individuals become more self-sufficient. Some of the areas YVEDDI provides services in include public transportation, weatherization, Head Start, Migrant Head Start, domestic violence and sexual assault, job readiness, and services for seniors to promote independent wellness, including community senior centers Meals on Wheels and more.
Ronda Beaver, director of the East Bend Senior Center of Excellence, said she was thrilled to be celebrating the milestone anniversary.
“I think it’s awesome because that means that our company has done 50 years worth of good in our communities,” Beaver said. She said the East Bend Senior Center “rocks” and was “the best” but she also praised the other senior centers as well and the work they do to offer helpful and fun programming for area senior citizens.
“The rewarding part is seeing the seniors we work for happy,” she said.
Celebrating the 50-year anniversary of YVEDDI means the success of the organization and the continuing need for the services provided, said Annalisa Davis, director of the Jones Family Resource Center in Mount Airy, another YVEDDI organization.
Senior Services Deputy Director Tom Beckom said, “Being employed for YVEDDI for a little over three years now, I have grown to see what true nonprofit work really does and I can honestly say I am very proud to be part of an organization that strives to better the community and the people who live in it.”
“YVEDDI has invested 50 years to preserving our communities’ most vital resource, its people,” said Board Chair Cindi Dixon in her letter in the 50-year commemorative booklet for YVEDDI. “We have truly been blessed with a half century of staff, volunteers, community partners and board members who have dedicated themselves to the noble cause of helping people. Most importantly, they have served diligently and passionately to end poverty and promote stability among the disadvantaged citizens in Davie, Stokes, Surry and Yadkin Counties.”
For more information on YVEDDI and the services it provides, visit www.yveddi.com.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.