We had the good fortune of connecting with Courtney Willis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Courtney, what role has risk played in your life or career?
For most non-profits, especially in the past year, every year we operate there is going to be pretty significant risk. The economy has a huge impact on our donors, so it also has a huge impact on the funding we are able to bring in. I think that so many organizations and small businesses see normal, every day continuation of operations as somewhat of a risk lately. Thankfully, we were able to help a lot of people in need locally, and hospitals/clinics were still donating medical supplies for us to give to them, so we were able to continue operations on an even greater level than the year prior – 25% greater. Since we established our 501c3 in 2013, Mission Regan has grown exponentially each year. This is awesome, but it also means that our budget has followed that same trend. Each year we press forward trusting that funding will come in, and I suppose that also means that we are risking everything if it doesn’t. For us, it is about trusting that God is going to provide what we need for each year. The supplies, the funding, the staff, the volunteers – all of it. Josh (my husband and our Executive Director) is really great about putting one foot in front of the other and following through with what he thinks we are being called to do. We talk about and weigh out the “risks” then pray about it along the way. He says that we should not be afraid to set our goals so high that if they succeed, there is no doubt that it is divine. It has worked well for us in the last 8 years, and we will continue to operate this way in the years to come. This year we are building a clinic in Zambia, we are purchasing land to build our permanent warehouse facility, and we are seeing both local and global outreach numbers greater than ever. We are taking in more medical supplies than ever before, and we are being asked for more medical supplies than ever before – especially from our local recipients right here in Collin County. We are very busy, but we are very thankful! The people we serve are having to take so many risks… we are grateful for the opportunity to help and show them what it looks like to be loved on without giving anything to get it. We serve a God who loves us that way, and that inspires us to do our best and love on others by giving them the medical supplies they need.
Please tell us more about your career. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
Oh goodness… was it easy? Definitely not! Was it worth it? Absolutely!!! I am a firm believer that most things that are worth doing aren’t easy. We have really just learned to persevere and trust through the hard stuff. Thankfully, we also get to do it together. And, that helps so much. It also is a challenge at times, but mostly it is a gift. Ha!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Hmmm…. We have really been enjoying the outdoors lately, so I would take them to Erwin for a hike, and we would need to spend some time shopping in downtown McKinney. I’m yet to meet a person who doesn’t love to eat lunch at Rick’s. We would probably need to stop by Local Yocal and pick up a few McKinney steaks to cook at home for dinner. Josh has been sous viding steaks and finishing them off with an actual flame thrower for that perfect sear! It’s quite the sight to see. Lol. We really enjoy taking it easy and hanging out with our people. I’d rather hang out around a fire pit than go out on the town most of the time. There are several great patios to visit for meals – I had lunch at Gloria’s yesterday and it was beautiful on their patio. We would have to go to Eggsquisite for breakfast – because they have the best gluten free waffles on the planet! Noodle Wave is a favorite of mine too. Burgers at One And Only would be a must! In Melissa, we love Sugar Babe’s for lunch (the Melissa Harvest salad is so good!) and Cross My Heart and Hope For Pie is a great place to go for dessert! The owners are a delight to chat with, and they even have gluten free pie and brownies on Fridays! If we have a whole week, we’d probably venture into Dallas to visit Dealey Plaza – Josh is a big history buff and likes that kind of thing. Maybe go to Forth Worth to see the Stockyards. A Mavs game is always fun, but we really love watching our kids play sports most!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We can’t do what we do without the support of others! We have had supporters funding, supporting, volunteering with, and praying for us for 8 years now! We have had Board Members and Committee Members who have served countless hours, and we are so grateful for each of them. We have men and women who come out to the warehouse regularly and give of their time and energy to sort through supplies so that we can see what we have and give them to people who are requesting them. All of this is being done without getting anything in return. They do it because they believe in what God is doing through Mission Regan. And THAT is what fuels us when things have been difficult. Our office staff and warehouse staff – though they may be small in number – they are LARGE in integrity, in skill, in commitment, and in wisdom. We would never be able to do what we do without each one of them. No kidding… they are the backbone and the lifeline too. Our kids definitely deserve a shout out too! They inspire us daily and give their time, energy, and hearts to Mission Regan too. Most importantly – Our donors and recipients have no idea how much they inspire us to continue to do what we do. They bless us far more than we could ever bless them. Every day!