On Sept. 16, Yadkin Valley Economic Development District, Incorporated (YVEDDI), the local Community Action Agency is celebrating 50 years of successfully improving people’s lives and building stronger communities.
Fifty years ago, Joe C. Matthews coordinated a group of 26 interested citizens and representatives from Raleigh and Washington D.C. to meet and decide which counties would join together to develop a Community Action Agency (CAA). Community Action Agencies were being establish across the nation in response to President Linden B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty.”
The County Planning Boards from seven counties met and an application was made under the Economic Opportunity Act to establish a Community Action Agency comprising four counties, Davie, Stokes, Surry and Yadkin. On Sept. 16, 1965, Articles of Incorporation were approved and Yadkin Valley Economic Development District, Incorporated was established.
Records show that in 1970 YVEDDI’s agency budget totaled $934,905 in grants as opposed to today’s more than $11 million with more than 60 grants to serve thousands of people each year. With this growth our mission to help people achieve greater self-sufficiency remains the same as it did 50 years ago. Programs include Public Transportation, Weatherization, Head Start, Migrant Head Start, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Family Resource Center, Job Readiness (CSBG), and services for seniors to promote independent wellness, including Community Senior Centers, Meals on Wheels, Retired Seniors Volunteer Program, and Congregate Nutrition.
Many thanks to the dedicated board members, employees, volunteers and partners that have made the last 50 years possible.