Amanda Starbuck has a big heart. When she was younger, she helped whenever possible, but her first true foray into charitable works came in 2004 when she traveled to Ethiopia for the first time.
Invited by a family friend, Amanda jumped at the opportunity to travel and help the truly needy of Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. The trip, sponsored by the group Engage Now, lasted two weeks but taught Amanda a lifetime worth of lessons. Amanda, her sister Juliana and her family friend arrived in Addis Ababa and immediately packed their bags into a van and settled in for a five-hour drive south. When they arrived in the small village they were each given helpful tasks to accomplish. Struck by the lack of what she considered standard fixtures but now knows to be luxuries, Amanda Starbuck‘s lessons started immediately in a land where faucets, electricity, and nutritious food are in short supply.
On her first trip, Amanda was not able to help as much as she would have liked. For many people living in the area, a chance to see a doctor was very rare and Amanda’s job was to primarily ensure those waiting were attended to. It made sense to Amanda, if you only had one chance every 6 months to see a doctor and your child was sick, wouldn’t you be impatient too? Amanda Starbuck worked with translators to speak with the people in line and hear their stories, empathize with them and assuage their worries. Amanda fell in love with the work and knew she wanted to go back. It was clear to Amanda that charitable works would be a part of her life forever.
On her second trip, Amanda wanted to do more and reach more people. She loved being able to offer consolation to the people in line but she saw that was a reactionary effort and wanted to be proactive in her approach. She taught people how to irrigate gardens, build ovens, and boil water to sterilize it before drinking. She taught these lessons to many, and hoped they would share it with others. These simple precautions and agricultural techniques could benefit the villagers immensely. Sadly, her sister fell ill with Malaria after this trip and was in the emergency room for a week fighting for her life. After that scare, Amanda was not able to return to Ethiopia, but the lessons she learned there about the importance of helping others, and the perspective she gained on the true luxury of our lives here in America stuck with her.
Since then, Amanda Starbuck has dedicated herself to many different charitable organizations that focus on human and animals alike. She is a big supporter of the Wildlife Conservation Society and heads the committee for the WCS branch at the Central Park Zoo. She has been on the committee for over a decade and has been the head of the organization for 6 years. While working with the WCS, she helped the organization do some amazing things around the world. They focus on keeping endangered animals off the extinction list and work to protect animals everywhere from cruelty. As a veteran horseback rider, this last cause is near and dear to Amanda’s heart. “Animals are living things,” she says, “in many ways they are very similar to humans, they think the same way we do and have emotions just like us, so we should be kind to them.” She also supports and is active in the Boys Club of New York and the ASPCA, among many others, and she is the co-chair on the committee of the Fresh Air Fund.
Although she herself has accomplished a lot for the charitable organizations she has worked with over the years, Amanda Starbuck is hesitant to list her deeds. She has organized parties for hundreds and raised thousands of dollars, but to her, these accomplishments come secondary, “It’s not really an accomplishment to set up parties, it is more important to let the work of these charities come through.” That is just what this site is for. On this page, you can follow Amanda’s charitable works and be introduced to latest news in the world of charity.