A BIT ABOUT US
Here at Valley Development, we see the value in everyone. We want to be a catalyst for positive change, and since our beginnings in 2001, we’ve been driven by the same ideas we initially founded our Non-Profit Organization upon: support, empowerment, and progress. Learn more about our mission, our vision, and how we go about making the changes we want to see.
THE MISSION. THE VISION.
The mission of the Valley Development Association is to facilitate programming aimed at breaking the cycle of generational poverty by improving the marketability of members of this community to enhance their quality of life.
Through our diligence in developing positive community partnerships, promoting local businesses, and facilitating educational programming, we foresee all around stable and self-sufficient communities. We will be a beacon of light, making a positive impact on the lives of people through inspiration, empowerment, and revitalization.
The Valley Development Association (VDA) began its work, June 2001, in the Town of Waverly, Virginia. Through a partnership with Mrs. Brenda Drew and local business owner Ms. Ning Rowley, the association served the Sussex and Surry community by hosting classes, for young ladies ages 13 and down, teaching home economics skills at the Lily of the Valley Deliverance Center.
It started with about 14 participants and several volunteers tagging the word “Heritage” for the groups name, Mrs Drew being quoted saying “It’s what we can do to help the future. This is our heritage.” The once small program for a time grew to a Summer Day Camp of 60 plus school aged youth and a host of volunteers. Over the years students camped at the Jamestown 4-H Center, visited the DC/Maryland Zoo along with Six-Flags, Kings Dominion, Busch Gardens, and took small trips to local educational and historical venues usually at minimal-to-no cost to participants.
The need to develop young boys into young men with creativity and positive work ethic was also noted soon after the Heritage group started, and volunteers were recruited to form a local Cub Scouts troop led by Mr. Rudolph Bailey, Mr. Robert Overton, and Pastor Marvin Drew. The troop began meeting at the Annie B. Jackson Elementary School with about 7 boys. While scouts met inside the school’s cafeteria weekly, young men, middle school through high school age, were mentored outside on the basketball court by a dedicated father with a passion for the sport, Mr. Barry Shaw.
As the court became swarmed with men of all ages, Mr. Shaw began reserving time for more defined mentoring opportunities at an out-of-town basketball court and transporting his group of 10 plus young men from Waverly and back again. A fueled 16-passenger van was made available weekly for the cause by the Lily of the Valley Deliverance Center.
After the closing of the Annie B. Jackson Elementary School, the Valley Development Association, procured a contract with the Sussex County School board to continue using the elementary schools facilities for its programs in return for monitoring, securing, and maintaining the facility grounds. From recreation to community events (including Memorial Day, Easter, Independence Day, Veterans Day, Back-to-School Carnival, Harvest Festival/Trunks-for-Treats celebrations), the Association has served hundreds, furnishing food, drinks, entertainment, and programming for special events regularly; and supplying water, sports equipment, and toilets daily.
Through a collaboration with SERCAP (South-East Rural Community Assistance Program) on May 17, 2005, VDA began maintaining an old pool hall and pub nearby, developing it into a fee-free fitness center (Valley Gym) equipped with donated weight-training and tread-mill machines. Broken and missing windows were replaced, new roofing placed, fresh paint applied, extensive clean-up done, and moderate renovations completed for safety and appeal. Construction services were donated by K&P Roofing Company and Drew’s Creative Contracting Llc. Volunteer staff, Mr. John Thomas and Mr. Vernon Holmes, began managing the daily operations of the facility under direction of Mr. Kenneth Kelly. Gym staff specifically instituted training and mentoring schedules for interested individuals from middle school aged youth through adults throughout the community.
Also, through the work with SERCAP, grants were secured to install an individual well and septic system for a constituent, host 32-50 “Volunteers for Community” from Boston College and Holy Cross College yearly since 2006 serving for VDA’s community clean-up week, and provide work-sites for three Ameri-Corp/VISTA workers through the 2010/2011 years.
In August 2010, the Branch of Youth was began as an outreach for youth ages 13 and up developing opportunities for peer-to-peer mentoring in a relaxed and interactive atmosphere. Sessions were began every Monday at 7pm mainly at the Lily of the Valley Deliverance Center but also in the Annie B. Jackson Elementary school yard and various locations throughout Sussex and Surry counties serving approximately 28 teens and young adults led by Mr. Marvin Drew and Ms. Karmen Harrison.
In the Fall of 2010, the need for tutors was made known to a director of the Association and assistance was provided for three high school students to meet requirements for graduation. Tutoring continued for students upon request; however, in the Fall of 2013 a formal after-school program was developed by a team of educators Mrs. Kerry Saunders, Dr. Karen Richardson, and Pastor Marvin Drew. Select students could be provided transportation to and from home, small meal, and of course homework assistance and tutoring on Tuesday and Thursday evenings between the hours of 4-6pm.
In January 2011, the C.W. Vaughan Recovery House was opened for men wanting to change the course of their lives from a state of chemical dependency to that which is sober and responsible. The program enrolled 6 men within the first year. The house evolved into the C.W. Vaughan Hospitality House in October 2013 helping men and women suffering through hardships. The initial program that birthed the Vaughan House, continued as F.A.N.S. (Former Addicts Now Saved) since October 2001. The group held weekly help sessions on Thursday evenings and later began convening on Tuesday and Thursday mornings as well. On Tuesday, August 28, 2012 a small in-house quality studio was developed, as C major Productions under the operation of Mr. Corvelle Mason. In May 2013, VDA entered a relationship to develop a small business, Raiz Da Praiz Productions, with partners Mr. Alonza Saunders, Ms. Karmen Harrison, Mr. Philip Wilkins, Jr., and Mrs. Karen Turner, marketing authentically designed printed t-shirts and accessories.
February 2013 marked the beginning of VDA’s partnership with the Workforce Investment Act’s P.O.W.E.R (Promoting Outstanding Work Ethics & Responsibility) program through the Surry Office on Youth. The program enrolled 5 students who began meeting at least three times weekly to develop leadership skills, job readiness, and educational success with the intent to prevent occurrences of drop-outs.
The Valley Development Association is also home to a local Girl Scouts troop of 28, under the leadership of Ms. Tammy Faltz and 8 volunteers.