Marisa Freitas, a business analyst on the managed print services operations team in Brazil, has been named Lexmark’s 2016 Volunteer of the Year.
Freitas has worked for Lexmark for eight years. Her dedication to volunteerism was sparked in 2011, when she visited a house for children with cancer who come to São Paulo from across Brazil for treatment. The house provides lodging, food and transportation to the hospital at no cost and is maintained by volunteer donations.
Inspired, Freitas began looking for volunteer opportunities, enlisting the help of friends and co-workers.
Her efforts were so well received, in 2013 she founded the group Espalhando Amor, which means “spreading love.” The group now has 30 active members who volunteer for various charitable organizations and services. The volunteers assist about 450 people each year, including adults and children with serious illnesses and disabilities, domestic violence victims, and the homeless. The group hosts activities and collects and distributes medicine, clothing, food, personal care products and more.
“Whenever there is a need for help, Marisa immediately starts a campaign to raise funds and donations for it,” said her manager, Wagner Silva, MPS services coordinator. “She spares no effort in helping other people, embracing the cause and engaging intensively from beginning to end. She inspires all around her to dedicate part of their time to helping others.”
“Volunteer work is important to me because by dedicating myself to others, I become a better human being,” Freitas said. “Giving a little of myself to others makes a big difference in people’s lives and this is priceless. Receiving a smile and a hug of thanks warms my soul and makes all the effort worthwhile.
“I am honored by this recognition from Lexmark, which has always supported my volunteer efforts,” she added.
Lexmark’s Volunteer of the Year Award is designed to encourage and recognize volunteerism among Lexmark employees worldwide and to support the causes most important to them. Lexmark will donate the local equivalent of US$2,500 to the charity of Freitas’s choice.
Lexmark is committed to support volunteerism efforts in the communities across the globe where our employees work and live. Learn more about this commitment here.