Our New Development Assistant
Written by Plant With Purpose on February 17, 2015 in General
Although Melissa Coy has been around Plant With Purpose for years, today we officially welcome her as our Development Assistant. Learn more about the journey that brought Melissa to Plant With Purpose and help us welcome the newest addition to the San Diego office.
“I used to think you had to be special for God to use you,
but now I know you simply need to say yes.”
– Bob Goff Love Does
Hi I’m Melissa, and my story with Plant With Purpose began 14 years ago. It was summer and I was attending Vacation Bible School at Solana Beach Presbyterian Church (SBPC). The compassion project for the week was buying sheep for a Plant With Purpose partnering village in Mexico. My family sponsored the project and I received a photo of the family we were helping—a photo that hung on the fridge for a season and eventually found its home in the folds of my Bible.
Fast forward eight years and my teenage self was preparing to go on a Plant With Purpose Vision Trip with SBPC to Oaxaca, Mexico. I sat through the long hours of training, received my travel vaccinations, and soon was on my way to Oaxaca. Despite my preparations, when our bus pulled up to the rural village of Loma Chimedia I was immediately humbled. Over the next week I encountered the daily struggles the community faced but also discovered the hope with which they faced these challenges. The simple act of planting a tree represented investment in the future and hope for generations to come.
A few years later I found myself in Tanzania, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro through another Plant With Purpose led program. As I inched my way to the summit in sub-zero weather and attempted to eat my frozen power bar, I realized that I had not properly thought through my answer to my mom’s question wondering why I was interested in climbing the world’s highest freestanding mountain. It was my willingness to say yes that brought me to Oaxaca and then Tanzania and finally to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
My travels to Oaxaca and Tanzania, fueled my passion for helping the least of these. The following fall I started studying International Relations and Economics at the University of California Davis. Throughout my four years at UC Davis, I searched for a way in which I could make a change…and yes Ghandi quotes were involved. I learned that the answer to effecting positive change was more complicated than I originally thought.
During my last year at UC Davis, I interned for a nonprofit organization in Washington D.C. and advocated for change on Capitol Hill. The summer after graduation I worked as a camp counselor at Forest Home Christian Camp. These two positions could not have been more different. As the summer came to a close, I wondered what was next and thought of Plant With Purpose. This past fall I was the grant writing intern and appreciated even more the mission and vision of Plant With Purpose.
I am beyond excited to be part of an organization that is so intentional in caring for God’s Creation and cannot wait to say yes to the joys and challenges I will face as the new Development Assistant.