My First Site Visit

LZF volunteer and donor, Cheryl Forte, shares her thoughts on being in the community as an LZF site visitor.

The Lenny Zakim Fund is truly a one-of-a-kind foundation.  I have been working with the LZF for almost a year now, and am continuously amazed at the effect that this incredible foundation has on the grassroots.  Volunteering with the Lenny Zakim Fund is more than just a rewarding experience; it opens your eyes and your heart to the myriad of social, economic, and educational issues that exist in the Greater Boston area.  

During my first debriefing at the LZF office, I was surprised by how well the Fund gets to know the agencies they work with.  The Lenny Zakim Fund has an uncanny ability to truly identify the real change agents in our communities, and understands exactly how to help them.  The LZF recognizes the power in small grassroots organizations and ensures that the vital work these agencies do does not go unnoticed.    

I was given the opportunity to go on three different site visits last fall.  This volunteer experience enabled me to see first-hand the positive affects that these agencies have on their neighborhoods, and allowed me to witness the impact that the LZF had on each organization.  One of my first site visits was with My Life, My Choice, an agency that works with at-risk teen girls who have had a history of sexual abuse and trauma.  The timing of my visit occurred right after the advocates at My Life, My Choice won a huge legislative victory on sex trafficking in Massachusetts.  The entire agency was filled with an aura of excitement and triumph, and I will not soon forget the joy on those women’s faces at seeing their hard work bring about real change in the very communities we live in.

Every grassroots organization I visited on behalf of the LZF has provided me with a deeper understanding of the important work these organizations do for our society.  They helped me see the incredible power in small neighborhood organizations, and reinforced my belief in the good that the Lenny Zakim Fund does for these agencies. “Our ability to live and work as one, is truly humanity’s greatest asset.”