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  • Beth Adams

The Spirit of Volunteerism

Ever wonder what happens to the people who participate in our programs after they return home? Ever wonder whether they got out of it what we were hoping they would? Roger Dorneles knows the answer.

After his experience volunteering with Partners of the Americas as part of the Legislative Fellows program in 2013, it sparked the desire -- no, need -- for volunteerism in times like these. He found this spirit of volunteerism with an organization called Cooprevive Cooperativa (located in Sapucaia do Sul, RS), an organization that helps with beautification and recycling of materials like glass, plastic, metal, paper, and packages. To help slow the effects of Covid-19, together they donated 16 liters of soap (that was homemade by another volunteer), 2 liters of 70% alcohol hand sanitizer, and 25 cotton masks. But what made him very proud and brought tears to his eyes was that the president of the cooperative, Mariza Francisco, remembered his contribution from around 2013 when he helped the organization keep their documents and by-laws up-to-date to stay in compliance in regulating the activities of this cooperative. It’s good to know that this organization is still functioning and creating a salary and support for nearly 30 families.

Roger’s not the only one helping those in the community who need it the most. Lúcia Helena Araújo Lima, president of our Partners chapter in Rio Grande do Sul, shared that several of the Partners RS directors handed out 40 “cestas básicas” (boxes with food, personal hygiene, and cleaning products) to a community center called Centro Social Madre Madalene. This center serves one of the poorer neighborhoods in Porto Alegre. It just goes to show that even in times of uncertainty and social distancing, the spirit of volunteerism brings us all closer together as a community.

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