October 22, 2018
By Cyndi Lesher, Opportunity Partners Board of Directors
I’ve been involved with Opportunity Partners in one way or another for 46 years! For me, it’s personal, a privilege and a priority.
It’s personal. I started my career as a vocational rehabilitation counselor working at Minneapolis Rehab Center. I referred clients to Opportunity Partners (then called Opportunity Workshop) because it was the best organization for people with disabilities. I also met Dennis, a vocational evaluator there who also referred clients to Opportunity Workshop. I later married him. So, I started my career working in rehab, met my husband and discovered my favorite nonprofit all about the same time. It’s been a love affair with Dennis and Opportunity Partners ever since — 46 years and going strong!
It’s a privilege because I believe so strongly in Opportunity Partners’ mission. What could be more important than impacting and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities? We are all, most simply, human. We all want to feel valued, contribute in whatever way we can, love, be loved and feel we matter.
Anyway and anytime I can be part of that, I’m privileged to do so. That’s why I give my time, money and expertise and have for 46 years. I’ve been a volunteer, a Board of Directors member, Board chair and Opportunity Partners advocate. It’s a privilege.
And, it’s a priority for me and my family because of the high impact work we do. I have a direct opportunity to participate in life-changing work. Remember, philanthropy is not just about giving money. It’s also about giving time, energy, attending events and being an advocate for Opportunity Partners’ mission. If not ME, if not YOU, then who?
If you’d like to support Opportunity Partners, consider making a gift on Minnesota’s largest day of charitable giving – Give to the Max Day – on November 15. Gifts can also be made any time online through opportunities.org/donate/. Thank you for your generosity!
In addition to serving as an Opportunity Partners Board of Directors member and chair of the organization’s Advancement Committee, Cyndi is the retired CEO of NSP, an Xcel Energy Co.