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At iManage, we recognize that our work exceeds the scope of the office, and our commitment to excellence extends beyond our customer base to the global community. As a company, we value the notion of "doing well by doing good" and have company-wide imperatives to prioritize and support our passion for making knowledge work and closing the opportunity gap worldwide.

We highlight our global employees' philanthropic work through a monthly spotlight program and make a financial contribution to support those organizations and charities.

Meet iManage employee Debbie Amatangelo, an Account Manager based out of Detroit. Debbie's work doesn't end with her role on the Sales team. In addition to her "day job," Debbie is Chairman of the Board for Angels of Hope. This nonprofit organization provides financial support and other assistance for Michigan-based families fighting cancer. To learn more about this impactful organization, Debbie took some time to share with us her involvement with Angels of Hope and her passion for supporting those impacted by cancer.

Why is this cause important to you?

In 2009, my father was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Though this type of cancer prognosis can be grim, a family history prompted my father to seek proactive testing, revealing a stage 3 diagnosis. Fortunately, this diagnosis allowed him to seek treatment and win his fight with cancer. After my dad's battle, I was inspired by the community and wanted to give back to others impacted by the disease that affects so many.

How has your personal experience inspired you to support other families impacted by cancer?

When my dad was diagnosed with stage 3 esophageal cancer, my biggest worry was that we wouldn't have enough time. Enough time for me to make sure he knew how much I still needed him, even as an adult. Enough time for a few more inside jokes and phone calls where his first word to me is always 'Debbie' with emphasis on the '-bie'. Would I still have my dad when the time came to walk me down the aisle?

During his treatment, I appreciated every minute I had with him. Since he's been cancer-free, my time with him is among my most valuable. I started my journey with Angels of Hope because I had exactly that — time. As my role has morphed over the years, seeing firsthand the value of the time we give our patients has turned our foundation's mission into my personal purpose.

How did you get involved with Angels of Hope?

Sometimes it just starts with a simple Google search! And that's how I first came across Angels of Hope. Founded in 2004, Angels of Hope was born from the idea that there must be a better way to ensure no families are fighting cancer alone and to provide support for families with the unique support each situation demands.

I am a passionate celebrator of Christmas, and I love larger-than-life holiday decorations! I wanted to sponsor a family during the holiday season. Through Angels of Hope, I adopted families for seven years. By that point, the seed had been planted, and I was inspired to do more with Angels of Hope and joined the grant committee to extend my engagement beyond the holidays.

What is your role at Angels of Hope today?

For the last three years, I have served as the Chairman of the Board at Angels of Hope. In this role, I oversee the overall vision of the organization, how they continue to grow and evolve, and all of the day-to-day pieces that go along with it. From event planning and marketing to working on the grant committee, my role touches every part of the organization. And still, among all the responsibilities of the role, I continue to work with individual families and feel the personal impact that I first sought out years ago.

What makes Angels of Hope different from other organizations?

While other organizations have high overhead expenses – with a larger percentage of donation funds paying staff salaries or office rent – Angels of Hope are different because we're 100% volunteer-run and make sure every possible dollar supports families in need.

Founded over a potluck fundraiser, we have grown over the last fifteen years to raise even more funds and extend our reach, all the while maintaining our commitment to support families impacted by cancer and to optimize all financial contributions.

Angels of Hope offers services beyond basic living expenses. Each family's situation is unique and is handled as such. While some families need help with bills, others benefit from other types of aid, such as a car for transportation to appointments or an in-home nursing service.

We were recently made aware of a young boy who was dying. He was at home on hospice care, and his parents were spending hours each day cleaning the tubes necessary for his tube feeding and changing the soiled sheets on his bed. Their child was dying, and they were doing dishes — I'd be lying if I said I didn't lose sleep over that.

As a foundation, we provided this family with an in-home nurse. She helped not only with the tubes and the sheets, but she provided much-needed care for the child, as well. By taking these must-be-done tasks off the parents' plates, we gave this family what I would deem to be the best gift we could have ever given them — the gift of time with their son. Every minute they didn't spend washing tubes was a minute they got to spend with their son before he passed.

What kind of impact has Angels of Hope had on the community?

Despite the challenges of 2020 and operating during a pandemic, last year Angels of Hope provided:

  • 400 months of mortgage payments
  • 399 weeks of groceries
  • 350 months of home heating payments
  • 149 months of water payments
  • 107 months of car payments
  • 11 funerals

What is the process for a family seeking support from Angels of Hope?

In most cases, either a child is sick and needs additional support from a parent, frequently causing them to miss work or stop working entirely, or a parent is sick themselves and cannot continue working. In both cases, families seeking a grant will partner with a social worker to collect the necessary documentation and verification from their health care provider. This information, along with a letter discussing how cancer is impacting their family, is sent to the grant committee at Angels of Hope and reviewed before being taken to the board.

At this point, the team at Angels of Hope works with the family to develop a support plan that best supports their specific needs. Through this process, Angels of Hope supports an average of 200 families each year!

How can others support families through Angels of Hope?

Donations can be made through the Angels of Hope website, where you can also find information on upcoming events hosted by Angels of Hope and volunteer opportunities.

Thank you, Debbie!

Debbie's passion for helping others does not end with her career helping our customers become successful. In fact, that is just the start. We are honored to support Debbie and the rest of the team at Angels of Hope in their mission to support families battling cancer. Thank you, Debbie, for bringing our core values to life by living each day with Respect for People.

About the author

Kelly Casey