This is Emily and she LOVES: People! (she's the one in the middle)
Emily was born & raised in Alcoa. When she was in middle school she was really insecure about herself, and at school she started noticing a lot of other kids who weren't necessarily part of the 'in crowd'. Emily felt compassion for others who were on the outskirts, and she wanted a way to connect with them and let them know that they weren't alone. She wanted them to know that they had something to offer and that they were valued. Emily started to pray and ask God to give her His eyes to be able to see beyond exteriors, and to instead see who people really were. She asked God to give her His heart to be able to show them love in a real & genuine way. For Emily, being around people and showing them God's love energizes her. She says that it almost feels selfish to her sometimes because she feels like she gets more out of being around people than they get from her! Every hug, conversation and friendship she has means so much to her. It gives her purpose and brings her an unrivaled joy. Emily shared an incredible story of how loving someone well recently changed lives forever. One of her friends called her and thanked her for being there for her and showing her unselfish love at a time when that same friend was in a really dark place. Her friend told her that she was at a point of taking her own life, but instead was touched by Emily's friendship and chose not to!! That friend is now seeking Emily's help to learn how to show that same love and kindness to others in her own life. Emily truly believes that love can mend the broken, lift the weary, find the forgotten, hug the neglected and save the dying. For anyone who desires to connect with and love people better, Emily says it's important to give people the benefit of the doubt. To her, that doesn't mean being careless, but rather trying to approach every person knowing that each individual has a story. With every person she meets, she tries to discover where they're at in their life to guide her words & actions towards them. Emily also has an incredible voice and is on the praise team at RIO Revolution in Maryville. You can see her there on Sunday mornings having a blast singing her heart out! And when she was asked to share something interesting about herself with the world...Emily responded with, "Oh...I LOVE SKITTLES!" For a young woman of only 20 years old, Emily is truly amazing. It's exciting and encouraging to know that she's a part of Blount County. Because of the amazing passion that Emily has for showing people the love of Christ, Blount County Eye Center will make a donation to the A21 Campaign on her behalf. A21 is a movement to help bring an end to human trafficking and slavery worldwide, and it's an organization Emily strongly supports. Thanks for being you Emily!
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