Volunteer Spotlight: Jennifer Zinzi

Jennifer Zinzi is a dedicated volunteer in her community and has been supporting the fundraising efforts at DAWS for almost two years. She was reintroduced to the organization by Director, Alice Meenan, while pursuing volunteer opportunities in animal welfare. Jennifer joined the Making a Difference Gala committee and has served as auction chair for the past two years. She also assisted with the recent Putt Fore Paws Golf Tournament. All these events were quite successful due to Jennifer’s passion and commitment to our mission.

Prior to being involved with DAWS, Jennifer volunteered for another local animal rescue serving as a Board member, dog walker, and event chair for a major fundraiser. Her passion for animals has spanned more than 15 years and includes seven rescue animals (in addition to some chickens). Despite her husband Sal always saying, “This is the last one!” They continue to add to their zoo with the most recent addition being a DAWS rescue, Shadow in 2021.

“Shadow has been a blessing to our entire family (except for the cats)!” says Zinzi. “The kids adore him and he is an amazing dog around my Mom who has advanced dementia.” Shadow enjoys his car rides, dog park play dates, Starbucks pup cups, and of course, a great marrow bone from Caraluzzi’s.

Jennifer’s ties to non-profits include time serving as an Executive Director for a chamber of commerce. However, she always comes back to animals because they need humans to advocate for them. “When you see the staggering numbers from the South or understand the puppy mill crisis, you can’t turn a blind eye. The cost of transporting, fostering, vetting, and caring for these animals before adoption has a high price tag.” She continues, “This is why I can’t say no to the fundraising efforts of DAWS; knowing they make a significant impact and will also have an amazing, renovated shelter to house them until they find their furever homes.”

Jennifer plays a vital role in our organization. Alice Meenan, Director of Development and Marketing, says, “DAWS is fortunate to have Jennifer’s expertise and passion for animals help us achieve our fundraising goals. All the events Jennifer has participated in have broken past records! Despite her many commitments, she always makes time for DAWS bringing fresh ideas not only to our auction, but the other facets of planning major events. Jennifer’s contributions have made a significant impact for the DAWS community and we are forever grateful.”

Jennifer and her husband, Sal, have lived in Bethel for the past 13 years and have two children, Giuliana and Salvatore. Her children are also DAWS youth ambassadors, representing us at community events and also holding lemonade drives to support our fundraising initiatives.

Jennifer volunteers for Hillside Food Outreach and St. Mary School and supports several other organizations throughout the year. In her daily work with At-HomeCare of CT, Jennifer works closely with the elderly in the community to help keep them safely at home. In her free time, she enjoys cooking big Italian meals and baking treats for family and friends.