Risalyn Williams is the Executive Director of The DeAngelo Williams Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to develop and seek initiatives to support the eradication of breast cancer through preventative care and research. She is also a mom of four (12, 8, 7 and 2).
Alright — tell us about your kids and a little background about how you balance working and momming.
Three are in school and one is at home with me. My husband and I watch them and my parents help too.
What keeps your plate full these days?
I am the Executive Director of our family charity, The DeAngelo Williams Foundation (DWF). My husband started this charity in 2006 when we graduated from The University of Memphis and moved to Charlotte. At the time, he had lost 3 aunts to breast cancer and his mother was in remission, in the time since he lost another aunt and his mother all to breast cancer! Through the DWF we provide life-saving mammography screenings to women who do not have access to them, whether that is due to no insurance, insurance. not covering it, etc. I plan and execute all of our foundation events and fundraisers and get all of our sponsors currently.
Do you work because you need to, want to, or some combination of both?
The DWF is our family charity and all our hard work through it is what continues my mother-in-law’s legacy. Our mammogram program is called “53 Strong for Sandra” for her! She was only 53 years old when she passed away. I work to carry on her name and to help other people receive the medical care they need with a hope that if they do have breast cancer we can find it early and treat it without reoccurrence. If breast cancer is found at an individual’s screening we help cover expenses through the rest of their journey until cancer free! I work so people like my husband don’t have to lose their mother to this horrible disease. I work so children like mine do not have to say goodbye to their Nana so soon!
What does your day-to-day look like?
Emails, meetings, phone calls, networking, fundraisers all mixed in with kids going to elementary and middle school (which both start at different times so drop off and pick up gets hectic and is time consuming), lacrosse practices/games, flag football practices/games and throw in friends and family time plus my husband and I both love to travel… there is never enough time for everything but our hearts are always full
How does being a working mom impact your kids — either positively or negatively?
Working with the DWF has amazingly positive impacts on my children. My daughters are the only kids of ours that got to meet their Nana, our boys were born after she passed away. Our kids know first hand how breast cancer can affect a family. When we do events/fundraisers they area always there to volunteer. At our run/bike event we hold in Charlotte every year, our kids host a lemonade stand too.
What holds the biggest tension in trying to manage everything?
There is never enough time in the day! I always feel like I need to spend more time with my kids and husband. Especially when I am planning an event it consumes so much of my time because I am always on the phone talking to a sponsor, working out details, or answering emails. I think as a mom we always question what we do. We always feel like we aren’t doing enough.
What’s one resource that would make your life easier?
Trusted volunteers for our foundation! We have family and friends that help for events but if we had consistent and trusted volunteers that helped with sponsorships and funding it would take a lot of pressure off my days.
How would you encourage other working moms who are overwhelmed and in the thick of it?
You are enough and you are doing great! It sounds so cliche but moms need to hear it more often. Also it is okay to take time for yourself. You cannot help anyone if you are rested and taken care of too.
Any last words about working motherhood?
Do things that you enjoy and that you have passion for, whether it is work or volunteering. When your children take interest and want to do the same things it will bring so much joy to your life!
Find DWF Online:
- The DeAngelo Williams Foundation (website)
- The DeAngelo Williams Foundation (Instagram)
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