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Live Mutual: Remembering the orphanage

Lilianna  Watson

Posted on June 18, 2018

Lilianna Watson is a communications consultant for MassMutual.
Close up woman's hands holding another hand

Many years ago, a young boy in an orphanage was adopted by a single mother. Now, in an ongoing act of mutuality, he is using his knowledge and experience to help pregnant women in need find support.

“Volunteering is my way of giving back both to her, and the birth mother I never knew,” said Richard Fortune, a MassMutual advisor at the Financial Group.

Fortune works on the board of directors at the Center for Great Expectations (CGE) in New Jersey. The center aims to break the cycle of homelessness, substance abuse, and mental illness among pregnant women and teenagers.

“I became involved because it's part of where I came from,” Fortune explained. “I was born to a single, unwed mother. I never knew her and was put into an orphanage at birth. I was then adopted and raised by a single mother. Volunteering and fundraising for CGE is my way of giving back to a cause that is very close to my heart and personal story.”

Fortune’s generosity and spirit have not gone unnoticed: He was awarded a 2018 Community Service Award by the MassMutual Foundation. After applying two years in a row, he was recognized with a Platinum Award, the program’s highest honor.

As a result, he will present a $25,000 check from the MassMutual Foundation to the Center for Great Expectations, a donation that he said will fund parent-infant counseling services to families in long-term treatment.

The MassMutual Foundation awarded $225,000 to nonprofit organizations across the country on behalf of 22 advisors who are working hard to make a difference. Two $25,000 Platinum Award winners, 15 $10,000 Gold Award winners, and five $5,000 Silver Award winners were selected for demonstrating the true value of living mutually. (Read more about the awards here)

Richard FortunePictured: Richard Fortune and Peg Wright, founder of  the Center for Great Expectations, holding the award check.

In a world where independence is the norm, Fortune showed the strength in upholding the vulnerable.

“While my work fundraising and serving on the board for 11 years is seen as very important to the sustainability of the center, the most meaningful part of volunteering is visiting the nursery,” Fortune said. “Seeing babies playing, learning, and being treated the way they should be means the world to me.”

Learn more from MassMutual…

The MassMutual Foundation

Mural mutuality

A fight against Parkinson's


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