Every once in a while, a special person comes along to show us what can be done in the world. Budd Mackenzie is one of those rare individuals. He has taken on many roles in his city of Lafayette including President of the Little League, Chamber of Commerce President (chair for the committee to add police) and he was named “Citizen of the Year” for his work.

Budd has taken on tasks that stretch well beyond the borders of Lafayette as well. In 2003, when we stood on the brink of war in the Middle East, Budd expressed his concern for what that would mean to the people there. He also discovered Greg Mortenson, who was working in the Middle East building schools to replace those ravaged by previous wars, and to also give girls an opportunity to attend.

Budd contacted Greg and told him that Lafayette, California would help. The village of Lalander (just south of Kabul) was identified and the rest is history. Budd began Change for Change, which got the children involved in helping. He brought Greg here to speak, and Trust in Education was launched. Budd then traveled to Afghanistan and, once there, a Pandora’s Box of new needs was realized. Budd quickly went to work on helping with those as well. He continues to travel to Afghanistan and help to find long-term solutions to their challenges. Budd is an example to all of us of how one person can change the world.