Volunteer Spotlight: Amy Pagano

amypaganoAmy has been a part of the Commonwealth community since 2005 as our office manager in San Diego. In this role, she creates a comfortable and friendly environment by providing extraordinary support for ordinary requests. Amy also manages our Giving Back initiative on the West Coast. She is one of a select few elected to a year-long appointment on the Commonwealth Cares board for the 2013–2014 term.

Q: What inspired you to get involved in Giving Back?
A: Initially, I got involved in Giving Back at Commonwealth because it was a bullet point in my initial job description when I started eight years ago. From scratch, I worked to create a program that mirrored our Giving Back efforts in Waltham—but with a San Diego twist.

Q: What was one of your favorite Giving Back initiatives at Commonwealth?
A: We’ve done quite a few—and they all have a special place in my heart. But I can honestly say that I was blown away by our Harry Potter-themed Make-A-Wish send-off event for wish kid Colin. The enthusiasm, excitement, and buzz around the office in the weeks prior to the event were contagious. To see the teamwork that came together to make this happen in such a short time was astounding. But the reaction from Colin and his family is what really stole the show. We all had tears in our eyes!

Q: Can you share with us a story about how you know you’ve made a difference?
A: One thing I’m most proud of is initiating an intimate fundraiser for a fellow employee who wanted to visit her dying father but who didn’t have enough money for the plane ticket home. The office rallied together and raised enough for her and her husband to travel to see her father before he passed away.

Q: Tell us about some of the charitable work you do outside of the office.
A: Leading the 7 to 10 Giving Back events that we do each year keeps me busy in and out of the office. But my most cherished moment of giving back is participating in the annual breast cancer walks. Whether it’s the two-day or three-day walk, I spend three to four months training and raising the funds. I then enjoy a memorable weekend with my best friend walking miles and miles in honor of close family and friends.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who’s looking to get involved in Giving Back?
A: Find your passion and do something. Anything! You don’t have to have money to give back; volunteering your time is just as valuable—if not more. Also, research the background of the nonprofit organization you are supporting to be sure that your time or money is going into the right hands. And the bottom line is to just have fun with it!

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