Something keeps pulling Alisia Williams back to Hillsborough.
Born and raised in this small town, Williams finds herself returning to Hillsborough often, to give back to the community she once called home. She started a nonprofit, Changing Lives Community Center, in August 2017 and pours all her time and money into serving others.
“For some reason, the Lord wanted me to come back and do work here in Hillsborough,” she said. “It was a vision, I love helping people.”
This year, at the 6th Annual Fairview Live event, she set up a table to hand out 500 backpacks for the youth headed into a new school year, all donated from Five Below.
This is just one story from a volunteer and piece of the Fairview community.
On the afternoon of Saturday, August 18, around 200 people gathered for a day dedicated to nothing more than fun and celebrating community.
One kid ran around barefoot in a “Hillsborough Rocks” T-shirt, stopping for a minute to create an abstract painting.
Two Hillsborough Police officers took off their shoes and took their turn on the inflatable slide.
Others decided the hot dog stand was the highlight of the event.
Fairview Live is celebrated every other year and began in 2006. Since, attendance has increased every year.
This event was created primarily by Hillsborough Police Department Senior Cpl. Tereasa Matthews, who wanted to bring positivity into the area.
“They were overcoming some very serious things that went on with their neighborhood and things were being cleaned up in a wonderful way,” Matthews said in a recent interview with WHUP. “I just thought that everyone should see that because sometimes it’s hard to break reputation, or what people used to know you for.”
Matthews has been involved with this community for well over a decade, as she started community policing 15 years ago.
“[Fairview Live] was a way that we could invite people from all over Hillsborough,” she said. “That’s what Fairview Live is about. It’s about bringing in unity and it was created just for that reason.”
The event first began in a small park beside the police substation. Now, it takes place in the new Fairview Park, which has a baseball diamond and a large grass field.
On Saturday, as Matthew’s emceed the event, it was clear the community had a deeper relationship with her.
“Not tooting my own horn, but I love them and they love me,” she said. “I go everywhere and I know everybody. That’s my job to do that and I make it my business to do that.
“[Community policing] – I eat it, dream it, breathe it,” she continued. “I believe in it, it’s my passion...We care about you, we care about making things better in these communities...I think it makes it safer on both parts. I think that when we do have to make arrests, if people have seen you or had some type of positive interaction with you, then I think it kind of puts them more at ease.”
Matthews doesn’t take all the credit though – she says her entire department cares the same way.
“My whole department works toward that, and it’s something I’m really proud of.”
On Saturday, young and old gathered together, a scene that Carol Morton, secretary for the Fairview Community Watch group, said gives the chance for new community members to get involved.
Morton has lived in the Fairview Community for almost 32 years, and is an integral part of the Fairview Community Watch group, which meets the first Monday of each month at 7p.m. at the Police Substation at 501 Rainey Ave.