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Genuine care for others: MREF’s 2023 Everyday Hero

Stephanie Vincent won the 2023 MREF Everyday Hero Awards, presented during the Marketing Research and Insight Excellence Awards virtual celebration. The Everyday Hero award recognizes a researcher who is making a difference in and outside of their community but who may not be getting the accolades they deserve.

Vincent is known for her exceptional creativity, relentless spirit, and resourcefulness. She possesses an unwavering determination and a strong work ethic, never backing down from challenges in pursuit of her goals. Her genuine care for others shines through in every endeavor, making her a beacon of hope for those in need.

Her ability to think outside the box and utilize available resources efficiently has maximized the impact of her charitable work. Her remarkable qualities of creativity, tenacity, and genuine care have made her a role model for others, motivating them to come together and create a brighter future for the less fortunate.

Vincent shared some of her story with us, including how she got started volunteering.

How has volunteering impacted your own life?

Volunteering has genuinely shaped my life in the most incredible ways. It's amazing how even the smallest gestures can create a ripple effect. I've learned that love can travel huge distances.

Through volunteering, I've toughened up, learned to tackle challenges, and figured out how to make the most out of very little. This experience has taught me to be resourceful and creative, often doing more with less. It's also made me appreciate what I have. I've become much more aware of the blessings in my life and the importance of passing on that gratitude to my own children.

It's not just about giving back; it's about passing compassion and kindness to them. Volunteering has taught me that it's not just the recipients of our help who benefit; it's us, too. It's a beautiful cycle of giving and receiving that has impacted my life beyond words.

What led you to the volunteer work you do?

I got into volunteering because of my amazing mom and my love for kids. My mom is this incredibly generous person; she was always helping out in charity foundations. I vividly remember times when she shared what little she had, even her own food, with those in need – that’s the kind of person she is.

Her big heart inspired me. And I’ve always had this soft spot for kids. So, I decided to focus on orphanages in Costa Rica. It felt right. Like, a perfect way to channel my love and energy into something meaningful. Mom’s kindness and my love for little ones just naturally led me into the world of volunteering.

What advice do you have for people who want to make an impact in their own community?

If you're looking to make a difference in your own community, my advice would be just go for it and stick with it. Pay attention to what the community truly needs.

For me, it was eye-opening to realize that what the kids needed most wasn’t just material things; it was love, attention, someone to listen, someone who genuinely cares, an adult that they can trust. Celebrate their victories, care about their education – really get involved.

The real impact comes from being resilient, staying consistent, and diving deep into the community. Anyone can write a check, but the genuine care and attention you give to these causes, that’s what truly makes a difference.


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