Originally from Chicago, Tilde Holmes moved to the Jacksonville area in 1978. She attended MacMurray College and married Pastor Samuel L Holmes, Sr., and together they have three children—two sons and a daughter, all of which still live in the area. But this is just the beginning of Tilde’s story. For those of you who have been lucky enough to meet her, you know what an interesting person she really is.
After working as the Parent Coordinator at District 117 for 15 years, Holmes became the CEO of Community Childcare Service Association, a social services agency that includes the Prince of Peace Infant and Toddler Childcare Center for children ages six weeks to four years old. She also oversees the after school program, summer food program, food pantry, prevention initiatives, male involvement programs for young men, and workshops for adults—just to name a few things.
Her goal: Help stand in the gap where assistance and needs don’t always meet. Holmes, with the support of her excellent staff and volunteers, works to create positive opportunities for families dealing with poverty, abuse, and economic hardship.
“I love it when we get to take our kids on field trips to places like the Magic House in St. Louis or over to the college campuses in town,” she said. “It gets them thinking about their future.”
On August 24th of this year, her friends and family have organized a celebration of life at Illinois College’s Cummings Hall to help honor all of her accomplishments and constant efforts in giving back to the community.
When asked what she was most proud of over her lifetime, she said, “When I gave my life over to Christ, I devoted myself to sharing the love of God and helping the disenfranchised through programs near and dear to my heart.” By reaching out to those in need, she is able to touch the lives of children and families in the area.
One of the accomplishments she’s specifically proud of is the childcare center’s ability to provide diapers and wipes for all children enrolled there. After seeing parents struggle to provide diapers both at home and during daycare hours, Holmes decided they would lessen the burden by providing them for any enrolled child—free of charge.
Prairieland United Way is one of the main funding supporters for the program, as well as childcare connection, the Jacksonville Children’s Foundation, and private donations. With their support, the program has continued for 11 years.
When she’s not at work (or sleeping), you’ll find Holmes reading, occasionally fishing, or attending a church convention. “I’ve been blessed to be able to meet people from all over the world, attend workshops, and get inspired through these conferences,” she said. “I take that knowledge and bring it home to put in action.”
Holmes continues to dedicate her life to serving those in need in our community. With her experience, leadership expertise, and giving spirit, she most certainly qualifies as an interesting person—and we thank her for her hard work.