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Rethinker Profile: Amanda

By Rethink Breast Cancer November 3 2016

Name:  Amanda Alvaro
Age: 38
City: Toronto

What do you do when you are not changing the world with philanthropic gestures?

Being a mom to a tireless toddler, Asher. Wife to a tolerant and patient husband, Mark. Full-time co-creator of new PR agency Pomp & Circumstance and part-time political commentator for CBC. In between, there’s a better than average chance you’ll catch me dining with friends and family in Toronto or adventuring somewhere in the world.

What is one thing you have re-thought in your life?  How did you approach it?

I had a career I loved. But I always knew that the entrepreneurial spirit in me would outweigh my desire to keep a ‘steady, secure’ job. Finally, after a lot of soul searching, I took the plunge last December with my partner Lindsay Mattick and it was easily the best decision I’ve ever made. Nothing is better than waking up every day in complete control of your own destiny.

What is the most important thing to know when it comes to donating to a cause?

Anyone can write a cheque (and cheques are REALLY important) but you and the organization get so much more out of the relationship if you can engage in a deeper way. Becoming a volunteer, hosting an event, sharing your personal connection to the cause, inviting others to be a part of it.

Choose a cause you’re passionate about. One you are connected to for personal reasons. Find the heart in it and you’ll be driven by more than the desire to ‘give back’ – you’ll be driven by the change that’s possible and the role you can play to achieve it.

A person who gives back that you aspire to:

Farah Mohamed. CEO of Girls20 and a whole series of programs that have evolved from that first initiative. A die-hard promoter, unwavering believer in the power of young women and fierce Canadian leader – she is someone I aspire to be like in my career and in my cause-related pursuits. If I had a little of Farah’s tenacity in me every day, I’d be doing something right.

How do you find a cause you are passionate about?

I find the causes that share a personal connection. I lost my mom to breast cancer when she was 57, so Rethink holds an important, personal tie to my own life story. To honour her memory, I am deeply motivated to seek out causes that educate, fund and drive awareness about breast cancer, access to treatments and research.

What is innovative about the Rethink approach?

Everything. Rethink has always taken a more provocative, edgy, creative approach to events and fundraising.  Because of that, Rethink has inspired an entire generation of Canadians to get involved in one of the many campaigns, or host their own events – finding new, unconventional ways to make it easier and more exciting to participate.

Last fall, we took it to a new level by hosting Boobyball Mini –  the first toddler fundraising dance party. I’d like to think we’re inspiring our future philanthropists very early on 😉

What inspires you daily?

My son. My work. My family and friends. Not one thing, but a collection of all the magical, amazing things in this big crazy life I’m living.

Why should people support a cause they are passionate about?

For selfish reasons – because you’ll feel pretty damn good for having done it. And for selfless reasons – because we’re all part of the big picture and we all have a role to play.

When I give back I feel like I’m part of something bigger than the four corners of my world.