Kristi Pero has been a part of the Commonwealth community since 2006. A cashier on our Deposit team in Cashiering, she ensures that checks are properly coded and imaged, as well as deposited. She is among 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: Not so much a what, but a who—my parents. I used to stand with my dad, a Boston firefighter, and collect for the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation. All the Pero kids had a chance to hold the boot and collect donations. My mom has always taught us to help others. As an adult, I feel so blessed to have the wonderful things that I do in my life. Why not give back? Giving back—even just a little bit—goes a long way. I’m paying it forward.
Q: What was one of your favorite Giving Back initiatives at Commonwealth?
A: I have to say, my favorite Giving Back initiative at Commonwealth so far has been our Make-A-Wish sendoff party. I will never forget that day—or all of the preparation for that day. It meant so much to me. I can only imagine what it meant to our little friend whose wish we helped grant.
Q: Can you share with us a story about how you know you’ve made a difference?
A: I also lead our adopt-a-family holiday giving back event with the Waltham Boys & Girls Club—and love this one, too. I knew I made a difference when we delivered the gifts to the club one year and a mother from one of the families was waiting. She asked to speak to me specifically. She shook my hand, hugged me, and kept saying “thank you!” I was humbled—and speechless. It’s touching to know you had a hand in making not just one person—but entire families—smile during the holidays.
Q: Tell us about some of the charitable work you do outside of the office.
A: Outside of the office, I’ve taken part in dance-a-thons for Cystic Fibrosis, held the boot for muscular dystrophy, and walked for breast cancer research. When my niece was younger, she and I would go to the dollar store and fill a shoe box with gifts for a boy or girl and then donate the boxes to Toys for Tots. It was a fun experience for the two of us.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who’s looking to get involved in Giving Back?
A: Simply, just ask! We have so many ways to get involved here, and none of them is a secret.