The People Behind the Purpose: Melissa

Written by Plant With Purpose on January 29, 2016 in The People Behind the Purpose


For the past decade, Melissa Coy has been a champion of Plant With Purpose: from Vision Trips with her family, to volunteering at countless events, serving as a grant writing intern, and joining the team as a full-time staff member. As Melissa’s one year anniversary approaches next week, we are excited to celebrate her and the many ways she impacts Plant With Purpose.


1. Job title?

Development Assistant

2. How long you’ve worked at Plant With Purpose?

359 days, or almost a year

3. Favorite tree?

My favorite tree is not a specific type, but any tree where you can comfortably sit against the trunk, look up into a canopy of green, and hear the wind rustle through the leaves.

4. What snow day memory is at the top of your list?

I lived in Washington D.C. for a winter, and as a California native experienced my first official snow day. The federal government closed for the day and the city slowed and quieted. The day was spent walking an idyllic snow covered National Mall and losing feeling in all extremities.

5. Place in the world that gives you the most joy?

There are a few places that come to mind:

  • The Thanksgiving table. I love spending time with family, eating lots of food, and giving each other a hard time.
  • Outside during the twilight hour. Everything is shown in a softer light.
  • Any place where there is a pug and I am petting it.


6. Your greatest Plant With Purpose adventure?

Prior to being on staff with Plant With Purpose, I went on a trip to Tanzania with Plant With Purpose board member, Cindy Outlaw. We visited Plant With Purpose partnering communities, went on safari, and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro (this picture is of the sunrise at 19,000 feet). It was the experience of the lifetime from being inspired by partnering farmers, to seeing nature at work in the Ngorongoro crater, and finally—after much pain and exhaustion—reaching the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

7. Describe Plant With Purpose in 4 words:

Compassionate. Innovative. Perseverant. Transformative.

8. What inspires you to do what you do every day?

As the Development Assistant, I do mostly behind the scenes support. I create graphics, process donations, and do a plethora of other little projects. Although my day-to-day work may at times be tedious, it continues to inspire me. It allows me to communicate the transformation that is taking place in partnering communities in real and tangible ways. I am incredibly blessed to have found an office job with an organization that encourages me to pursue my passions and is generating hope around the world.

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