Lydia Kennedy, the 36-year-old human resources director for Buffalo Exchange, says "the Tucson community is so rewarding to live in and it’s taught me how to give back. It’s easy to be part of that effort. Home is where your heart is and for me that’s within the community you live. Wherever I go, my heart is in that place and I’m big on giving back. Volunteering talent, gifts, and blessings enriches all concerned."
Buffalo Exchange is a Tucson-based clothing resaler. A $44 million company with nearly 600 employees in 11 states.
Kennedy is one of those rare items, a Tucson native, brought up in a family of strong faith, who lives by a pay-it-forward philosophy with a personal mantra to "be the change you wish to see in the world."
The concept of volunteerism becomes a simple one when she explains it: "It may involve hard work, but it’s not hard to become a part of it and many hands make that work light. It would be great if people picked just one area of interest and donated some time and effort to that cause. Find that hour or two and do whatever you can to make Tucson and the world a better place."
Kennedy’s list of community service involvement is lengthy and varied as attested to her nomination that reads, "Her energy is endless!". Currently her focus is contributing time and talent to Habitat for Humanity. "I’m having a great time building homes for lower income families and being able to attend ceremonies in which the American dream of having a house becomes a reality."
But there’s nothing static on the planning calendar. "I continue to look for areas that need improvement. I like to expand and grow and continue to challenge myself. Some things resonate in my heart like assisting the underprivileged children or helping the Community Food Bank." This Thanksgiving she may do both by volunteering to be a server in a soup kitchen.
Other community endeavors
Eller Associate for the past six years;
volunteer crew leader for Habitat for
Humanity; member and events volunteer for Youth & Women’s Conferences and volunteer for the League of United Latin American Citizens.
She helped negotiate a 0 percent health insurance increase for Buffalo Exchange in 2004. She spends many of her weekends building homes for low-income families through
Habitat for Humanity.