February 19, 2018

Costinela Dragan is responsible for Corporate Sustainability Strategy at KMG International (The Rompetrol Group) in Romania. She will be running the LA Marathon to support Hospices of Hope, so we have asked her a few questions about her professional and personal involvement with charity work:


Q.: How did you catch the volunteering bug?

A.: I started volunteering in high school, from a natural desire to contribute with time and knowledge to developing projects with impact on my community. Then I have started to get involved in charity projects with ROMPETROL, my employer’s charitable activities in 2009, when I took over the coordination of CSR / Sustainability activities and volunteering became part of the “job description”. But beyond corporate responsibility, I have a lot of personal involvement in supporting health-related causes.

Q.: How did you decide to get involved in charity? How do you balance your busy job with such activities? 

A.: Involvement naturally came as a response to the multitude of unresolved needs and problems in different areas. Problems that do not solve by themselves, but only through the sustained involvement of each of us. On one hand, as Sustainability Manager, through the tools and resources of the company, I contribute with consultancy and funds to supporting several environmental, health, culture, education and NGO projects in Romania. Personally, I support causes I believe in with time, knowledge, money, or through running for fundraising. In April 2018 I will be running the Los Angeles marathon for Hospice Casa Sperantei (Hospices of Hope Romania) for the second time. I am supporting their fundraising efforts for the completion of the socio-medical center at Adunatii Copaceni, that will benefit children with life-limiting diseases and their families.

Hospices of Hope is one of the associations with regional impact (which provides palliative care services in Romania, Serbia and the Republic of Moldova), which has grown coherently and sustainably. The Hospices of Hope being allowed as a partner organization at the LA Marathon for the third time is further recognition of the quality of the services offered. Besides the values and objectives I share with the organization, which motivated me to get involved (the Hospices of Hope’s team of professionals at the service of patients, the sustainable management model, the variety of fundraising mechanisms and their achievements in the last years), there is also a personal motivation – people who are close to me that are affected by irreversible illness, which I symbolically support in their struggle through this marathon.

Q.: What is the project that has marked you the most and which is closest to your soul? 

A.: I support projects that have children as beneficiaries, and I have an increased sensitivity to the projects developed in support of the sick. At corporate level, we collaborated with NGOs (SMURD, Magicamp, MAME, Hospice, etc.) and supported several rehabilitation and endowment projects with the medical equipment of hospitals in Romania.

Q.: How do you feel volunteering supports your personal and professional development? Would you recommend volunteering to others? 

A.: Volunteering involves empathy, commitment, but also good management of time and resources. However the benefits far exceed the efforts and the satisfaction at the end of the project is very motivating, generating positive energy. Getting involved in a particular project at a certain point may be a great help, but it is a long-term involvement that brings sustainable results and affinity to the beneficiaries and that I wholeheartedly encourage. I encourage anyone to choose a cause they believe in and to contribute to its development / solving. Fortunately, there are more and more companies and their employees who “adopt” NGOs and projects and invest recurrently. And Romania needs such people and projects for the future.

We wish best of luck to Costinela and the entire team of runners supporting Hospices of Hope at the Los Angeles Marathon. You can also read Alex’s interview, Hospices of Hope CEO and Lyle Anderson, athlete living with MS who will also run for Hospices of Hope at the LA Marathon 2018.

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