The Concern Leadership Network (CLN) is a community of motivated leaders, advocates, and influencers who are bringing about positive and lasting change to families living in extreme poverty around the world. Our members are creative, caring, and inspiring individuals who help Concern increase awareness and raise funds. Today, meet CLN co-chair and Spring Run rock star, Kira O’Grady.

What’s your cause? What is it that prompts you to make a difference?

Concern does incredible work, both at the time of a crisis and in response to a need thereafter, to allow the affected people to persevere and improve their livelihoods. It’s hard to select only one cause to focus on, especially when the need is so great worldwide. When I attend an event or meeting with Concern, I do so to provide support to all of Concern and its staff as they respond to help the most vulnerable among us.

It really comes down to the philosophy by which Father Aengus Finucane lived his life: “Do as much as you can, as well as you can, for as many as you can, for as long as you can.” I feel very fortunate for the life I have been given, and since I cannot trade places with anyone, I have tried to give back as much as I can, whether it be time, money, or resources.

When did you learn about Concern? How did you get involved?

CLN Events Co-Chair, Kira O’Grady, with her fiancée, Jack Doyle. Concern Winter Ball, December 2014.

It is hard to say when I first learned about Concern because I feel that it has been a part of my family forever. When I moved to NYC from NJ, I knew I wanted to get more involved on a personal level with Concern, and I contacted a few individuals to see how I could do so. Once I learned about the Concern Spring Run, I knew immediately that I wanted to take part in it. In 2013, I started the first Mutual of America team for the Spring Run. We only had about 10 runners our first year, and we raised $3,800. It was a big accomplishment, but I knew we could do more. We recruited new runners each year, and as our company saw an increase in employee participation, we became a corporate supporter. This provided us with resources to increase our involvement in Concern and, most importantly, with a matching gift to double the dollars we raise. This past year, we raised over $18,500 thanks to a Company Matching Gift, and took home the trophy for Top Fundraiser for the 2nd year in a row!

Why did you join the Concern Leadership Network?

I joined the CLN because I wanted to increase my involvement in Concern and to make doing such a more regular and consistent part of my life. The Spring Run is, and always will be, a great event, but it is held only once a year. I wanted a way to support Concern continuously throughout the year, and the CLN allows me to do so in more ways than I could have imagined.

What are your goals within, or for, the CLN?

As the Events Co-Chair, I am hopeful that we can create more exciting opportunities for Concern supporters, new and old, to meet each other and mingle. As we have learned through the CLN, when like-minded people come together in a room, it can lead to some great ideas and collaboration.

What is your current profession?

I work in Human Resources at Mutual of America where I am also one of the captains for our Concern Spring Run team.

Are you working on any CLN projects right now?

I have been trying to attend as many CLN meetings and events as possible. I learn about the ongoing projects and initiatives of Concern through these meetings and events, at which CLN members also share ideas about the various ways we can help.  I am also constantly trying to think of new ways to recruit runners and collect more donations for the 2019 Spring Run. I hope to see you on the race course in April!

Learn more about the Concern Leadership Network and how to join.