Interview by Ashley Pearlstein
With two children, three energetic dogs, a close extended family, and a schedule full of activities, it is a wonder Amanda Saffer finds any time to donate to Pima County’s youth, let alone six to ten hours a day. Saffer’s dedication to the children of Southern Arizona and immense philanthropic efforts make Tucson lucky to have her.
What is your job description at Angel Charity for Children?
I am the General Chairman in the thirtieth year. I am the youngest chairwoman and basically I oversee a board of about 23 people from all different committees we have. Basically I am the face of Angel and I help make it run.
What does Angel Charity for Children do?
It’s a nonprofit organization. It’s our 30-year anniversary and we are an all-volunteer, nonprofit agency that raises money for other agencies that serve children 18 and under. Basically we try to meet the most critical needs of the children of Pima County. Try and build buildings like shelters, focus on education, etc.
Angel Charity for Children recently celebrated 30 years of business. What does that mean to you?
I think it really just translates that we’ve been able to help probably over a million children in Pima County, and making these children’s lives better really means a lot. It means that you’re helping people and you’re helping to make children’s lives better. You feel blessed in your own life and you want to help others.
How did you become the youngest general chairman of the organization?
This is my ninth year in the organization and I have done other positions previously and basically I was chosen. I never even thought of it, but I was approached by some members who have been in the organization for a long time. Like I said, I never would have dreamed of it but when you are asked by these women who you respect, you feel like yes, you can do it because you’ll have all the support you will need.
What are some of your favorite hobbies or things to do outside of work?
When I am not working I am with my children a lot, they are involved in a ton of activities. I live next door to my parents so we do a lot of family get-togethers and dinners. I think the only thing I do for myself is once in a blue moon I do yoga, but that hasn’t been very often lately.
Describe your family. Do you have any pets?
My 5-year-old is Paul, we call him Pauly. My 7-year-old is Alexis. I also have been married for eleven years to my husband, Jeff. We have a bichon frise named Carla, a rescue Pomeranian mix named Trudy, and we inherited a king shepherd when my mother-in-law passed away named Belvedere after the vodka. My mother-in-law was a hoot. We have two little lap dogs and a huge German shepherd and they run our house.
What other Tucson organizations are/have you been involved in?
I am part of the alumni council for my high school, Salpointe Catholic High School. I put together our ten year reunion and I will do our twenty year soon. I was involved in my sorority (Gamma Phi Beta at the University of Arizona), but I am mostly involved with Angel now. It’s hard to do much else because I work six to ten hour days and then I am with my children.
What is a favorite place of yours in Tucson?
We spend a lot of time at the zoo with my family; my husband and children love it. Another thing I do with my extended family is we have big dinners at Vivace Restaurant.
Describe a woman who inspires you and why.
I would say my mother because she has always been a very kind and giving of herself person and always wanting to help others who needed it and obviously I think that’s where I get my philanthropy.