If you put Amanda Iglesias in charge of a Christmas toy drive for underserved kids, be prepared for record-breaking results.
Our February “Volunteer of the Month” led the effort to fully stock our 2018 Christmas store, which allows parents to purchase deeply discounted gifts that they would otherwise be unable to afford for their children.
Amanda is District Operations Manager, South Orange County District for U.S. Bank, the fifth largest commercial bank in the country. She’s made banking her career since 1992, following the career path of her grandmother.
As the planning for the toy drive got underway well ahead of the holiday season, Amanda was inspired by one of the bank’s branch managers, who gifted a bike to the KidWorks Christmas store after she convinced him over lunch to donate.
“This initial conversation led me to challenge other bank colleagues to consider donating new kids’ bikes,” Amanda says. “We ended up collecting over 45 bikes by the time the Christmas Store opened in mid-December.”
Amanda is a perfect example of U.S. Bank’s deep commitment to philanthropy, both in Orange County and everywhere they do business.
“As a corporation, we ‘give with a purpose’” she says. “We participate locally each year in more than 25 volunteer opportunities through our Orange County Development Network, where I serve as secretary. Employees participate in these events and U.S. Bank encourages this service by providing up to two paid days per year to give back to the community. Our Community Possible approach highlights volunteer events around workforce education, economic prosperity, neighborhood stability and vibrant communities.”
“We are so grateful for Amanda and her colleagues, along with employees from all levels who have volunteered at our events,” says Lisa Gels, Associate Director of Development at KidWorks. “Because of Amanda’s leadership, the 2018 toy drive was the biggest and most successful since we began the event 16 years ago.”
Amanda also spearheaded a project to decorate the KidWorks centers and U.S. Bank’s Orange County headquarters lobby to kick off the toy drive.
“This included communications with bank employees, collecting toys, scooters and bikes, plus assisting with the event,” Amanda says. “I arranged the six collection toy bins at various branches in Orange County, the purchase of bikes and scooters, even assembling some of them. We displayed the bikes at our Newport Beach office. As a result, several customers wanted to be a part of the toy drive and donated cash to purchase bikes or toys for the toy bin. We even had several branches collect so many toys their large bin was overflowing. It was amazing to see the generosity of employees and customers. Involving our clients at a higher level than prior years was a very special and rewarding experience.”
Lisa says Amanda is one of several leaders at U.S. Bank who throughout the year generously give of their time, talent and resources to support our mission.
Among the executives from U.S. Bank who are involved with KidWorks are:
· Scott McPherson, Senior Vice President, who served on KidWorks’ Board of Directors for many years, as well as on our Finance Committee.
· Adrian Montero, Senior Vice President, who currently serves on our board as well as the Finance Committee. Adrian also chairs our Foundation for Success annual luncheon.
Amanda and her husband, Javier, are the parents of five boys, ranging in age from eight to 26 years old. Javier is also employed by U.S. Bank.
Amanda and her family love to stay active when not at work or volunteering.
“I enjoy sports, both as a participant and fan,” she says. “We love outdoor activities and spend our annual vacation at Lake of the Woods in Oregon, where we fish, skateboard, paddleboard and splash around on innertubes.”
Amanda and U.S. Bank show the vital role corporations and their teams play in KidWorks success. We deeply appreciate their sustained commitment to our hundreds of students.
By Glenn Leibowitz, volunteer writer