Pout Magazine - Page 6

Turning grief into a mission On April 5, 2014, Monique Willis’ life changed forever. That day, her only son Alonzo Thomas, IV was killed. Instead of giving in to despair, anger and grief, Willis got busy. She recently sat down with Pout to discuss her organization Momma on a Mission and how she is reaching out to other families, while still seeking justice for her son. Tell us about yourself. I am Monique Willis, founder and CEO of Momma on a Mission, Inc. I’m excited to be in the October issue, as this is my birthday month. Monique and Momma on a Mission are two different people. Monique is quiet and low-key. Momma on a Mission is the complete opposite. She’s vocal and doesn’t mind being in the public eye about her mission. My only son, Alonzo Thomas IV, is no longer with us, but I am still a mother, and that will not change. I am a grandmother of two, Zoey, 3, and Alonzo V, 12 months. COMMUNITY & LEADERS What is Momma on a Mission and how did it get started? Momma on a Mission advocates for the families of homicide victims. My mission started on April 5, 2014, when I learned that my son had been shot. I was out of town when I received a call from one of my son’s friends. The cell phone connection was not good, so it was difficult to understand what the friend was try to tell me. I kept asking if my son was ok and pressed for more details. I thought they had been playing with BB guns. That was not the case. The reality was that I became the family member of a homicide victim. My son and only child Alonzo Thomas, IV, had been shot and killed. Dealing with this tragedy is how Momma on a Mission, Inc. was born. Since then, I have vowed to help other families who have faced the same tragedy. How did you find the strength to move forward? My faith in God allows me to persevere. My grief and anger at losing my son also drives me. The crime remains unsolved and I want whoever did this to be caught, prosecuted and jailed. More than anything, I want this perpetrator off the street. How has Momma on a Mission helped other families who have lost their children to homicide? Most of the famili ́ѡЁ$ٔхЁݥѠЁѡȁٕ)ݡѡɥɕ́չͽٕQ͔)݅ЁѡٕéѼٔQ݅Ёݡٕȁ)ѡȁͽ՝ѕȰѡȁȁѡȁѼɽ՝ЁѼѥ$͔)ͽ́ɕͽɍѼɥ݅ɕ́Ѽѡչ丁$)ͼѼЁٕ́ѼЁЁѡ̸͔()]Ѡѡ͔ɕЁɑ́ɕձ̰ݡ)٥ձԁٔ)Qɔɔɕͽɍ́مѼͥЁɥ٥̸eԁ)̰ЁԁɔЁȁ̸Q)ɽ͕ѽ́́ѡչ䁩Ё́Ս́ѡ)չ䁹́ѡ]ٔѼݽɬѽѡȁ́չ)Qչ䁹́Ѽɕѡͥ]Ѽ)ͥȁ܁ݔݽձѡ́Ѽȁٕ)ѡɔ݅́ѥ ɥ́Ѽ܁ѡЁѡչ)ݥѡЁѡɔݥ͕Օ́ȁѡȁ̸()]䁑ԁхЁȁɝѥ-́ͅ ()$-́ͅ ɕͥи$ٔѡЁԁ݅ЁѼ)ѡݽɱԁ͡ձхЁЁ́)́ѥՔѼ͔ٕ́Ѽѡɔ́)55ٕͥѡ՝ѡɅє́ݕȁ)ѡɕЁ啅̰́ѽ()]ЁݔЁѼ͕ɽ55ͥ)ѡɔ()ɥѡ͕ͽ$݅ЁѼЁݡ́)ѕ䁡55ͥݥЁȁ͕)ՅչɅ͕ȁɥȰظ5䁅ՅչɅ͕́ݥ)ѡЁMɑ䁥ɥ͔ѡЁ́ݡ鿊e)ɕ$ͼѼЁ͵ȁչɅ͕́)ݽɬѼ͕ɔѥչͽɍ̸$ݽձѼ)ɅѥѼ͍ٕЁ՝аݡɔ$ͽ)܁́ȁѡѥɔ͍啅ȰѕЁ)́ѡЁݥѡȁ܁ݕ̸5)Ʌɽ́́ѡչݥѥՔ$ݥ)ɕ͕Ёչ䁕̸ٕ́eԁͼ)ͽͥѕ̰Qݥѕȸ()%ԁձѕѡݡЁݽձЁ()5=5ͥ%́ṒɽЁɝѥ)-́ͅ 丁]ɔɔȁѡչ䁅ѡݡ)ȁɕͽɍ̸()YͥЁ5=5ͥѼɸɔ)Ёѡɝѥ͕́٥̸)55ͥQݥѕ)()$ɕȁѼ䁽ɝѥ́Ё丁=9ظ䰀԰ݔ)ݥɅєѡ啅ȁٕͅ䁽55ͥ%)]ɔѥեɕͽɍ́ɽݥ́ݕ́ѥեѼ)ЁѡݽɐЁЁѡɝѥ()5=55=85%MM%=81% !9=IYH()]Ёѥمѕ́ԁѼՔȁɕ()$Ёɽ䁱́ɽ$ٔɑѼ)!́$ɕѱݽɬԁЁ$55ͥ)䰁ٕ䁑丁$Ʌѕհȁ䁕ˊéչх)и$ٔЁ́ͱ̰́́$Ѽ)͕Ёչѥȁ55ͥ$ͼٔѼ)ɔ$́ɥ٥ѡȁɑȁѼɽ٥Ё)ЁѼѡȁɥ٥̸)A=UQ5%9<()5=9%EU]%11%L((((