CAAP recently had a chance to speak with Amanda Saab, 2015 MasterChef contestant, to learn more about her giving philosophy and passions. Amanda’s impressive drive can be seen in everything she does, including her dedication to causes she cares about, her career as a social worker, and her superior skills in the kitchen.
CAAP: Can you give us an example of the kind of causes you support? What do you look for when you make giving decisions?
Amanda Saab: As a child, my parents took my sisters and me to COTS (Coalition for Temporary Shelters) to prepare meals for those in need. As a blogger, I support No Kids Hungry. I have participated in fundraising for March of Dimes, Bailey-Boushay House, and several schools. When looking at an organization to support, if I have the time and ability to help, I am there and supporting in any way I can. I especially love youth run programs, as this ensures generations to come will have advocates to rally for those in need.
CAAP: What/who are your giving inspirations? Family? Friends?
AS: My giving inspirations come from my faith. One of the 5 core pillars of Islam is to give to those in need. This is what led me to become a social worker. My parents exposed me to the reality of those in our community at a young age and I continue to work towards helping others.
CAAP: What does the word “philanthropist” mean to you? Do you think of yourself as a philanthropist?
AS: In my opinion most people of the world are philanthropists. Most of us care for the welfare of others, whether it be our neighbors next door, down the street or across the globe. In the major religions of the world, giving to the poor and needy is a duty, whether it be in time or money, making all those who practice this gift of giving a philanthropist.
CAAP: What do you see as your biggest achievement in your giving history?
AS: One of my biggest accomplishments in my giving history is giving to others the inspiration and motivation to choose a giving profession, and to find a cause they believe in and work toward helping others.
CAAP: Do you have any advice for other Arab Americans new to philanthropy and giving?
AS: Some advice I would like to share with other Arab American philanthropists is that you may not see immediate change from your efforts. You may not be able to stop global hunger overnight, but with time, dedication and commitment to your cause, you will absolutely make a difference. There most definitely will be setbacks and it may be difficult to continue on, but take a step back and reflect on where you have come, and on why you started this work and push through! You can do it!
Thank you Amanda for continuing to help and inspire others through your philanthropy and culinary innovation! Learn about more Arab Americans Who Care.