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Posted by on Jun 24, 2013 in Educate, Elevate, Family, Inspiration, Woman on the RISE | 0 comments

Woman on the RISE – Alyson Willis

Woman on the RISE – Alyson Willis

Alyson Willis- LoveGrows

Alyson Willis, Marketing Director | LoveGrows

alyson@lovegrows.org | www.lovegrows.org | www.facebook.com/lovegrows | @lovegrows

Your 140-character pitch: LoveGrows is a non-profit that sustains & empowers orphans around the world through the giving of monetary, intellectual & relational resources.

Your Elevateher pitch! LoveGrows is a conglomeration of churches, businesses, families and individuals who share a common vision of helping orphans in need. Through this network of support, we find the resources necessary to make a positive, sustainable impact on those we serve.  We are 100% pass-through and a 100% volunteer organization.

Your immediate region {within 100 miles}: LoveGrows is a local non-profit with a global vision. LoveGrows is based in Charlotte, NC and currently is serving the Morning Star School and Orphanage in Uganda.

Featured products &/or services:  LoveGrows changes lives through project sponsorship. For $30/month, you can become a LoveGrows sponsor and help fund sustainability projects for a community of orphans.

What do people think you do for a living? I’m pretty sure that I confuse people with what I actually do. They believe I take pictures, travel, and help kids.

What do you actually do for a living? For a living, I am the Marketing Communications Coordinator for a medium-sized law firm with four offices in North and South Carolina. I’m also a lifestyle/wedding photographer on the side. However, my most rewarding position is as co- founder and Marketing Director of LoveGrows, a Charlotte-based nonprofit that supports and empowers orphans around the world.

Tell us about your passions! I have a passion to design and create beautiful things. I love photography, music, and nature. I also just love people, which is what led me to LoveGrows.

One really special aspect of LoveGrows is that all of our team members are VOLUNTEERS. No one is paid one penny for his/her time or work. We all have full-time jobs and give our “free-time” to running the organization. It’s a heart thing. We do it because we love our kids and want to give our lives to helping improve theirs.

Who/what inspires what you do? I’ve learned that this life is not about me. Everything I do is for God. People who take action, use their gifts to help others, and find the best in every situation…they are who inspires me. Also, my mom…she’s been a great example for me over the years.

Was there a turning point in your life that led you to your current career? In 2010, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and had a spot of thyroid cancer. It wasn’t a career move that led me to where I am today, but this definitely changed how I view my life and the time that I am given. Your world can change in a heartbeat. It’s important to make the most out of every opportunity that comes your way.

If money weren’t a factor, what would you be doing? I would still be doing a lot of what I do today, but I would dedicate all my time to LoveGrows and photography.

What’s in your Bucket List? I adore kids, so I can’t wait for the day that I become a mother. I also really want to learn how to play the guitar and continue traveling. As far as my bucket list for LoveGrows, I know this is just the beginning for our organization. I’m excited for the day that we have LoveGrows “branches” worldwide.

Knowing all you know now, what would you tell your 20 year old self? Wow…I would let her know that she is going to face challenges, make mistakes, and be misunderstood many times in life, but that everything would be ok. Just focus on God and take things one day at a time. I spent way too much of my early twenties caring about what others thought of me.

How do you perceive retirement? At this point in my life, retirement is not even on my mind. However, I know that I would like to spend that time with lots of family (and an ocean) by my side.

Do you have a personal philosophy you’d like to share? Just to be yourself and be in the moment! Cry when you need to and laugh more than you cry. Show love any chance you get.

What would you like your legacy to be? I would like to be remembered as someone who was genuine, strong in faith, and full of compassion…as a person who gave her life for the ones she loved.