“Sometimes all we need is a little moment for us, pen and paper, and know we are connecting more people. ” – Marlene Lopez Ibarra

National Volunteer Appreciation Week, held April 19-25 honored many generous hearts last week. Common Hope’s work wouldn’t be possible without volunteers – especially in times of crisis. When volunteers step up virtually, a whole new reality is possible!

3M’s Latino Resource Network (LRN), one of Common Hope’s newest partners, is setting a new bar for volunteering! Marlene Lopez Ibarra, Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt – SIBG and PSD and Chair Elect of LRN along with the LRN Leadership Team have gone above and beyond these last few weeks to help translate an influx of HUNDREDS of HOPE NOTES to be included in Common Hope’s Hope Kit campaign. Marlene helped coordinate this support and the first volunteer translation activity held at 3M headquarters in Maplewood, MN in February.

Marco A. Ortiz, Marlena Lopez Ibarra and the Common Hope Team at the volunteer activity at 3M in February.

Marlene Lopez Ibarra, a 3M All-Star, recently featured in an article on Fairygoodboss, shares more about her career at 3M and what motivates her, including her passion to do good.

Lucky for Common Hope, the stars aligned for this partnership when Marlene sought a new volunteer event for LRN Leadership Day. She reached out to Common Hope and a month later, more than 35 employees gathered for the world’s largest translation party! Over 380 letters!

Marlene not only helped coordinate but she has quickly become a tireless cheerleader for Common Hope’s work!

Marlene is sure that by helping others we become better people. “I get excited to read a letter of a child and know how much he values his school supplies. How much they value their family. And that motivates them to be better and I get to share the love that there is from people worried about them from another country… We are just a little help to remove the language barrier in a love conversation.”

Since the STAY AT HOME order went into effect, the partnership with 3M has not been deterred – in fact, during Covid-19 it has flourished. Marlene, too, volunteered at several of Common Hope’s Thursday virtual volunteer activities over the last few weeks. She continues to encourage others in the LRN network to help out and included the opportunity in 3M Go, a newsletter for employees. The article featured a field sales representative who attended the translation event at 3M earlier this year and emphazised the easiness of particpating from home and how much she values the opportunity.

“When COVID times hit… we were able to elevate the positive momentum and share it beyond the LRN to other 3Mers that have the bilingual flexibility to participate. I felt special seeing spouses of 3Mers, their kids.. being part of this volunteering opportunity,” she said.

We agree and couldn’t say it much better than Marlene. In times of crisis this continuous support from 3M means so much to Common Hope. Mil Gracias Marlene, and all at 3M for your dedication and sharing your gifts with Common Hope!