Kelly Farmer is almost sheepish about her volunteerism, saying there’s “stuff I’d like to do that I haven’t done yet.”
Never mind that she serves on the board of Leadership San Angelo, has been a United Way loaned executive, supports Relay for Life, participates in Helping Hands home repair, delivers Meals for the Elderly and sits on the San Angelo ISD’s Site-Based Committee.
Oh yeah, she’s also an assistant vice president at First Financial Bank and the mother of twin 3½-year-old boys.
“First Financial is big into community service,” said Farmer, 35. “That’s really what got me started. The rewards are huge. Just seeing people’s faces when you deliver Meals to the Elderly – these people are so appreciative. And it takes one hour of your day.”
Farmer grew up with the type of leadership she practices today. Her father was a ranch manager who possessed a strong work ethic and a willingness to pitch in wherever and however needed. His leadership, she said, was through example. So, too, is Farmer’s.
“I don’t ask anyone to do anything I wouldn’t do,” said Farmer, who earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from Texas Tech University. “I’m a go-getter. I get in there and help. I do what needs to be done to get a job done efficiently – just filling in the gaps where needed.”
As the assistant vice president of consumer lending, Farmer helps customers seeking home and auto loans. Farmer finds satisfaction in helping customers achieve a goal such as home ownership by crafting out-of-the-box loans that still meet all federal regulations.
“I like the relationship with customers,” she said. “You get to know people on a very personal level when you’re talking about their finances. And I like the challenge. Helping people with loans is more difficult than most people think.”
Farmer said her time volunteering with the United Way was an “eye-opener.” She makes no apologies for tugging at donors’ heart strings after learning of the work of agencies such as the Children’s Advocacy Center and its Court Appointed Special Advocate program that serves abused and neglected children.
She aims one day to serve as a CASA volunteer … and maybe even adopt a foster child.
“My kids are fortunate,” Farmer said. “They don’t want for anything. After you become a mom, you realize so many kids out there need a loving home. And some of those kids just need a voice.”
Farmer is convinced more people would do more to serve their community if they only knew the reach of its social ills. Those issues touch family, friends, neighbors and co-workers, she noted.
“Life happens,” she said. “And some people just need a hand up. I like to be able to give my time – and money when I can – to help those who are in need and to help them be successful and get back on their feet. Just because something bad happens doesn’t mean that’s the end and you can’t recover from it.”