I am constantly rewarded in my work. Observing the shifts that people make in their daily lives and practices is beneficial not only to them, but to me as well. I believe strongly in supporting and serving individuals and organizations that inspire me. In service, we expand our hearts and help others.

In 2013, my family traveled to the Dominican Republic with Outreach 360, an amazing group whose mission is to transform individuals, families, communities, and countries through the education and development of disadvantaged children. By giving children a better opportunity through education, the organization enables them to live a life of choice. Outreach 360 relies heavily on volunteers to carry out its educational programs; it is a wonderful opportunity for different cultures and backgrounds to come together to provide support to these communities.

Closer to home, only a few miles from Princeton in downtown Trenton, HomeFront also provides an opportunity to help underserved, homeless individuals. HomeFront's mission is to end homelessness by harnessing the caring, resources, and expertise of the community. This incredible organization helps families, and especially women who have had few opportunities, and I am honored to be on the Women’s Advisory Committee.

When I first moved to Princeton, NJ over 17 years ago, one of the first places I went to visit was an animal rescue shelter called SAVE. Volunteering there, I met and adopted my first cat, Bunky, and have continued to visit the furry friends who are waiting for a home. I have served on the board for the non-profit, Friends To Homeless Animals, before it merged with SAVE.

Another successful New Jersey animal rescue organization, Animal Alliance is run by the tirelessly intrepid Annie Trinkle. Annie has become a friend who inspires and motivates me to dream big for others and stay positive! She has built this agency from the ground up, growing each year to add more programs (foster and pet adoption) and low cost pay/neuter clinics. Volunteers and donors are also needed for all operations!

My husband and I became vegans after a weekend trip to Farm Sanctuary 13 years ago. The sanctuary is home to different rescued farm animals. We try to visit its New York location whenever possible, staying at the on-site bed and breakfast. Check it out for a heart-opening experience that will allow you to see farm animals as they should be living- happy and with their peeps:-)

I strive to live my life doing the most good and the least harm, a mantra that is fully captured in Zoe Weil’s brilliant book, MOGO, which stands for Most Good. Zoe co-founded the Institute for Humane Education, whose mission is to create a more just, humane and sustainable world through education.

Living MOGO is a win-win situation: by trying to make the ‘most good’ choices, our planet and its inhabitants thrive. Honoring the inherent interconnectedness of life brings us closer to our most humane, best self.

Newsletter Sign up for the latest news, tips & inspiration from Lara!