“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman
I am not able to recall how I stumbled upon Rachel Fox‘s blog - Coming Alive – I just remember the feeling of relief that I experienced when I read some of her posts. Relief because throughout my searches, I had yet to find a personal blog that focused on humanitarian efforts and inspired ways that we can all change the world. It knew quickly that Coming Alive would become a resource I would keep close by.
I did recognize Rachel rather quickly in her pictures, from her work as a ONE Mom. If you are a blogger or spend any length of time online you may remember last year when a group of 10 bloggers traveled to Kenya to experience extreme poverty firsthand with the organization ONE – Rachel was one of them.
When Fadra and I discussed featuring interviews with bloggers who are changing the world, Rachel was the first person to come to my mind. I believe that her responses will inspire those who feel the urge to help shift the world but are unsure how, and will encourage those who are already on this path.
Today we are pleased to share our very first blogger interview with Rachel Fox - Mother, Wife, Blogger, Congressional District Leader, World Changer.
Rachel Fox (in red) with Congressman McIntyre’s Foreign Affairs LA, Kara Spencer & fellow ONE supporters.
Tell us what ignited the urge within you to make a change in the world?
I have always had this deep rooted feeling that there was something BIG that I was supposed to do with
my life, even when I was little. Honestly, I never knew how to act on those feelings. When I learned
about ONE I saw a direct action I could take to make a difference. To answer this question directly I
would say, when I became pregnant with my first child I remember thinking that I had to do something
to make the world a better more balanced and peaceful place to raise kids!
Was there always a specific passion or area that you were interested in that led you to where you are
Over 20 years ago I read an introduction to a book by Anita Roddick, the founder of The Body Shop,
about living and shopping with a conscious. I felt as if she was speaking the thoughts that had been
going through my mind forever. I was only 20 years old, yet it really clicked for me. From then on I
became passionate about fair trade, human rights, and living life with thoughtfulness and intention.
Would you share with us the story of how you became involved with the organization ONE?
I giggle when I look back and realize that reading about international development was my happy place
when I was home with my three kids. I did not have subscriptions to parenting magazines, but instead
would get excited to read The Economist or Time Magazine. I learned about ONE from following their
precursor policy organization DATA. I had been an online member for 5 years, then while living here
in North Carolina and reading a random paper (I do not even get the local paper), I saw that ONE was
going to be hosting a documentary screening at our local library. Of course I went and stayed after to
talk with the Regional Field Director. I came home to an email asking if I would be interested in being
a volunteer Congressional District Leader for my district here in NC. Having this leader role ignited my
passions from years ago and I hit the ground running. The story now continues………….
Congratulations on this position! Tell us more about what it involves.
I am actually the Congressional District Leader for North Carolina District-7. This is a volunteer role
that is shared by 100+ more ONE volunteers in strategic districts around the US. As a CDL I organize
events to educate and create awareness around the programs being funded by the less than 1% of the
US budget that are saving millions of lives around the World. The focus is on preventable diseases,
vaccines, and sustainable agriculture. I help constituents learn and understand why these programs are
import, then have them write letters, sign petitions, and take their voice to meetings with Members of
Congress. On the flip side I build relationships with our Members of Congress, so that they are aware
their districts care about these issues and why it is important for them to champion the causes.
Your very first trip abroad to do humanitarian work was with the ONE Moms. Share with us what impacted you most visiting Kenya and meeting those who are directly affected by the humanitarian efforts.
To actually see the individuals benefiting from the programs that I have passionately been a voice for
and followed all of these years was nothing less than extraordinary. They were so appreciative of all
that the US is doing and even to us as individuals. We were always greeted with song, dance, and an
overwhelming amount of gratitude. I have not traveled again since Africa and I must say that my heart
longs to be back there every day. When I stepped foot off of the plane in Kenya and with every visit we
made there I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be. It really felt surreal.
Your blog is called “Coming Alive” – describe to us what this title means to you.
This is where I think my story can inspire others. So many people say, “Oh, you have done so much all of
these years”. Honestly, I was home with my kids doing laundry, dishes, playing dress-up, and having tea
parties. Even after moving here to North Carolina from Indiana, I spent the first three years not really
knowing what to do with myself. I read my Time magazine every weekend, played board games with
the kids, and continually felt that pull to start doing something, but nothing felt right-or BIG enough!
I knew I wanted to change the world, but I felt like I was doing that by raising three incredible kids. I
then learned what it felt like to really use your voice and not be afraid to shine! I truly believe people
everywhere struggle with the “what can I do?” syndrome. I think it is time to ignite the energy in people
everywhere to find their common goals for good.
I am certain your family has also experienced some changes since you began your work with ONE. How
have you watched things evolve in your own family as you have grown and learned more about world
My family would all agree that I am a better wife and mom because of my time spent as a ONE
Congressional District Leader and with the ONE Moms. My husband and I continually tell our kids to do
what brings them joy, to always be a source of good energy in the world, to know and believe that you
have a purpose here. I was not following my own words and that in turn was having the biggest impact
on them as they were becoming young adults. They are now my biggest fans and tell me all the time
how excited they are to see me pursuing my passions. My daughter’s words last week were, “Watching
you put yourself out there this year has been truly inspiring. It has taught me that it’s never too late to
do what you love and follow your heart”. How uplifting is that?
What advice do you have for those who are seeking to become involved in changing the world?
My advice is to not wait to get started. It is time to “come alive” right now!!! Real progress is being
made because people are speaking up and everyone is starting to listen. There truly is a movement of
governments, corporations, media, moms, dads, etc. coming together and changing the World. That
is something pretty powerful to become a part of. As I am updating my blog I am making an “Action
Page”, where there will be simple ways people can get involved. Visit regularly because I hope to
update it often.
All images Copyright Morgana Wingard provided via Rachel Fox.