When Lexmark lab tech Christina Ballard learned a tornado devastated an Eastern Kentucky elementary school in March 2012, she felt compelled to help. She organized multiple groups of Lexmark volunteers to help get West Liberty Elementary School up and running again, and even coordinated a two-day field trip for the kids to Lexmark.
For her tireless efforts, Ballard has been named Lexmark’s 2012 Volunteer of the Year.
“I cannot think of another person who has influenced as many Lexmarkers as Christina has to volunteer for a community in real need,” said Michelle Binder, worldwide annuities loyalty manager.
Ballard’s efforts included rounding up donations of furniture for the school, which had lost just about everything in the tornado. She and others put together an entire tractor-trailer load of donated office furniture.
“I can honestly say without the help Christina brought to our school and district, there is NO way we could have gotten up and running so quickly,” said Vickie Oldfield, principal of West Liberty Elementary. “Words really can’t express how amazing she was and all the people she brought with her.”
Ballard extended Lexmark’s goodwill by organizing a field trip for the school’s students to Lexmark headquarters. She planned two full days of activities for more than 300 students, including science experiments, balloon twists and playground time in Shadybrook Park – a special treat since the school had lost its playground in the storm.
Now, more than year later, Ballard continues to volunteer at West Liberty Elementary. Just last week she brought eight Lexmarkers with her for a day of science and engineering education for fourth graders.
She has also expanded her volunteer efforts to help other groups in Eastern Kentucky.
“I truly enjoy it,” Ballard said. “There’s so much we can do to help people there.”
She said winning the Volunteer of the Year Award was a shock.
“There are so many people here at Lexmark who do so many great things in the community,” Ballard said. “I’m just a small part of something that got really big. I’m very proud. I couldn’t have done it by myself.”
In Ballard’s honor, Lexmark will donate $2,500 to the charity or charities of her choice.