Soon after she arrived in the United States almost 20 years ago, Marina Trofimova realized what she most wanted to be: a volunteer. Some 14 years after that, she realized that to be the best volunteer she could be, she would have to “Be Proud.”
“Coming from Belarus, I was amazed to see how volunteers helped me and my family adapt to a new life in this country,” Trofimova said. “So I decided to be a part of several volunteer organizations. I now realize that ‘Be Proud’ was the right fit and place for me.”
Trofimova has worked as an office manager for Nevsky Yablokoff Memorial Chapels in Midwood for the past 13 years. The management of Nevsky Yablokoff has supported the Be Proud Foundation, a Southern Brooklyn community service organization, for nearly 10 years, and Trofimova has been involved with Be Proud for the past six.
This year, during Passover, Trofimova was part of a team of Be Proud volunteers that packaged and distributed food baskets to local Holocaust survivors, World War II veterans, and other needy residents. She personally went “from house-to-house delivering these Passover bags to the people who [could not] come to pick them up. This year, we packaged more than 600 Passover bags.”
Be Proud has grown over years, participating in a number of events that benefit the community, including the Passover Food Distribution and Toys for Tots as well as programs that battle elder abuse and support local police precincts. Trofimova says her volunteeerism has grown, too, and adds: “I now realize that my responsibility is to help the community, and to be part of Be Proud.”
Trofimova’s sister, Vicky Podokshik, readily confirms her generous nature.
“She never thinks twice about going out of her way to help,” Podokshik said. “She is always a person you can talk to when you need to express your feelings and I always take her advice because she has always been right.”
This Woman of Distinction says she can devote so much time to Be Proud because she has the full support her supervisors at Nevsky Yablokoff Memorial Chapels.
“Sometimes people need personal attention, a shoulder to cry on and a heart to listen,” she says. “I am in a position to make a difference in people’s lives in a most difficult time.”
Neighborhood: Brighton Beach.
Occupation: Office manager.
Company: Nevsky Yablokoff Memorial Chapels.
Claim to Fame: Being nominated with outstanding women of Brooklyn. It may inspire other people to start or to be a part of a volunteer organization.
Favorite Brooklyn Place: The boardwalk on Brighton Beach.
Woman I admire: My mother, Lyubov. She is a strong woman who raised two daughters without any help and at the age of 54, she left Russia not knowing what awaited her in America. She was simply seeking a better future for her children. She did not speak English when she left Russia. She also is a breast cancer survivor. She is very involved in the upbringing of her grandson and she never complains. She is always happy.
Motto: Regardless of the situation, to act towards people with sympathetic, sincere and pure intentions with an expectation of nothing in return.
©2017 Community News Group
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