After enjoying retirement for two years, Tom Kilby has returned to human services in the role of part-time executive director of the Yadkin County United Fund and is now in the heat of the 2017 annual fund campaign.
With a goal of $180,000 again this year, Kilby has been visiting area businesses and individuals helping promote giving to the united fund, an organization which provides financial support for 22 nonprofit agencies serving Yadkin County residents.
Serving the community isn’t foreign to Kilby who moved to Yadkin County in 1985 after college to take a role as a juvenile court counselor. Through that position, he worked with children in schools and agencies. In 1993, he was named juvenile court counselor for the district serving Yadkin, Alleghany, Ashe and Wilkes counties.
In 2011, he was promoted again to area administrator for the 19-county Piedmont region, where he remained until his retirement in 2015.
“I worked close with nonprofits like the children’s center to reach out and develop programs to assist children,” Kilby said.
During his time with the court system, he also served two years on the Yadkin County United Fund committee, assisting in reviewing agency applications for funding selection.
“About a year and a half into retirement, I started looking for something part-time,” Kilby said of his return to the work force. “I’ve known Monta [Davis, board president] and Bobby Todd [committee member] for years. I talked to them about it, and here I am.
“It gives me the opportunity to get back in Yadkin County and work. I do live here, I’m married and have three children who have gone through the school system. It is giving back to the community, being able to help agencies get funds to help people in the community,” he said.
Those 22 agencies include Boonville Community Library, Boy Scouts Old Hickory Council, Cancer Services of Yadkin County, Children’s Center of Yadkin, East Bend Public Library, Hands of Hope Medical Clinic, Grace Clinic, Jonesville Public Library, Mountain Valley Hospice of Yadkin County, NetWorX, Share-A-Home, Smart Start of Yadkin County’s Dolly Parton Imagination Library, The ARK, The Salvation Army, Yadkin Christian Ministries, Yadkin County 4-H Clubs, Yadkin County Rescue Squad, Yadkin Family Domestic Violence of YVEDDI, Yadkin Family YMCA, Yadkin Special Olympics and Yadkin County Senior Services of YVEDDI.
“At one point, we’re all touched by these agencies,” Kilby said. “It is a good cause, and it is well needed.
“No one knows when they will need it. Look at Texas, Florida and Georgia. It could be any of us just as easily, and it was when the tornado hit Courtney,” he said of the services these agencies provide. “Bad things happen to good people, and sometimes people need help.”
In addition to raising funds through the annual campaign, Kilby said he frequently gets calls from members of the community who need help because they’ve been sick or need help with groceries or rent. While YCUF doesn’t provide those individual services, Kilby does serve as a referral service for those people, connecting them with agencies which can help.
The annual campaign kicked off in August and will run through November. He said right now united fund representatives are in the process of visiting businesses which have made donations in the past and working to get information about YCUF to those who haven’t in an effort to increase involvement.
Two Yadkinville restaurants — Third Branch Cafe and Little Italy — donate a portion of their sales one day out of each month year-round to the YCUF through the Dine Out program, but Kilby would like to expand that so there are restaurants in each community participating. He also is interested in reaching out to the county’s wineries.
“We also are going to try to reach out to individuals in the county who are either retired or work out of town like I did,” Kilby said.
Those interested in donating to the YCUF can do so by reaching out to Kilby at 336-679-4462 or by visiting www.ycuf.org.
“The thing about united fund is 99 percent of the funds stay in the local community,” he said. “Last year, 48,000 in Yadkin County received services from the agencies Yadkin County United Fund support. That’s more people that live in Yadkin County.”
He said he understands everyone’s budgets are tight, but donations can be given as a one-time donation, monthly, in the form of check, cash or credit card, and some companies will set up payroll deduction. “Consider donating the price of a soda a week, every little bit helps,” Kilby said.
Those who donate $100 receive a free print of art work created by a Starmount High School student.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.