Deborah Marengo

Promises2Kids is a leading nonprofit organization founded over 30 years ago that has responded to the needs of foster children and the fight against child abuse and neglect in San Diego County. Promises2Kids annually provides over 3,300 current and former foster youth in San Diego County with the tools, opportunities and guidance. But Promises2Kids could not do what it does without the tireless dedication and support of its Board Members under the direction of their Board Chair, Deborah Marengo.

Originally from New York, Deborah lives in La Jolla with her husband Claude Anthony with whom she works at Marengo Morton Architects. We recently sat with her to find out more about Promises2Kids.

Was there someone in your life that inspired your dedication to the community?
I learned from my father that giving back in anyway was something you did if you had the ability no matter how big or small. He spent much of his time after working a long day and on weekends supporting many organizations through Catholic Charities and in other community groups.

How do you get involved with a cause?
It is important to find a cause that you are passionate about. It is important to spend time to understand the organization’s programs and see the difference they are making. With Promises2Kids, taking a tour of Polinsky Children’s Center helped me see firsthand the need there is to protect and support abused children.

There are several children’s charities you could support, what is so special about Promises2Kids?
In addition to Polinsky Children’s Center we have our Guardian Scholars program. Funds raised go to mentoring foster youth through high school and on through to college. Scholarships are provided to 50 students each year to assist with their expenses. This support has created many successful young adults transitioning out of foster care and leading very productive professional lives.

What would you say to a business looking to get involved in charitable giving?
It is important to pick a local charity, or a charity that is close to your heart. Look for an organization that has opportunities for employee involvement. You can start small and grow with a charity as your business develops. Every contribution helps.

What does serving on the Board of Promises2Kids entail?
We are an active board. We serve as ambassadors for foster youth in our community. We raise awareness about foster care and at the same time engage businesses and individuals in supporting the children. We meet monthly, all contribute to the organization personally and are active in securing support from others to further the mission of Promises2Kids.

For several years, you have co-chaired the spectacular Dream On Concert benefitting Promsies2Kids. Tell us about this event…
Dream On Summer Benefit Concert is a spectacular evening held at a private estate home in La Jolla featuring amazing auction items and a fun private concert. The committee works all year earning community support through sponsorships, auction items and table sales. I am very excited about the coming year’s event, as we get ready to search for our talent for the evening. Past years have featured REO Speedwagon, Creedence Clearwater Revisited and The Doobie Brothers to name a few.

You can sponsor our Annual Concert Gala- Dream On in June. It is a great way to give back and participate in one of San Diego’s top philanthropic events.