Amy Stapler Paston is unlike anybody you will ever meet.
She is all about "Interior Design" - what matters most to her is the "interior" of a person and the little things they can do to make the world shine brighter. So, when she is not working on her decorating projects for clients for ASP Interiors LLC, her time is spent helping others any way she can.
At the age of 13, around the time her brother and mother were diagnosed with a progressive form of MS, she started on her philanthropic journey doing Walk MS.
"Now my whole family is involved and they form their own teams with friends," Paston said. "Recently they raised twenty thousand dollars and received an award for their accomplishment. But the real reward is donating your time."
It seems that in order to be a member of this humanitarian and goodhearted family you must have generosity coursing through your veins.
"My dad, Michael, started a fund called The Arthur Stapler Scholarship and Adventure Fund, named after my brother, Arthur, who passed away about five years ago," Paston said. "This organization enables young people, who are diagnosed with MS, to pursue special activities and passions from skydiving to college grants."
Her teenage daughter volunteered her time and babysat every Wednesday at a local home in Jericho called Mommas House, so that the young homeless mothers who reside there can work towards obtaining their GED or learn to support themselves independently.
"My other daughter, who is in college, volunteered her time with a group in New Orleans to help rebuild the community after Katrina," Paston said. "And my son comes with me to a local soup kitchen in Westbury and serves food while I help the chef cook." This is truly all-in-the-family.
Currently, she is on the fund-raising committee for the National Pediatric MS Center at Stony Brook where she, besides raising money, is one of the chairs for event planning.
She held up a beautiful centerpiece that she made by hand using recycled material that graced the tables for one of the charity events. If that isn't enough, she joined Women Build, a Habitat for Humanity program, and worked side-by-side with other ladies.
"I got up on a ladder and hammered siding to a home in Bay Shore," Paston said. "I try to fit in anything and everything I can when it comes to helping people."
"The bottom line is that the sadness I endured at the hands of an autoimmune disorder suffered by my mother and brother, led me to want to make it better for others, even if it's in small ways," Paston said. "Out of adversity came something positive."
If you would like to pay it forward yourself, check out these organizations:
Walk MS go to: http://www.nationalmssociety.org
For a good dose of design contact Amy at ASP Interiors LLC at: firstname.lastname@example.org