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HELP IN HAITI - Vito Ferrone's story

On the afternoon of 12th January 2010, a magnitude -7.0 earthquake struck Haiti. It was a disaster of huge proportions that shook not only the country, but the rest of the world. In the turmoil that followed, Vito Ferrone could be trusted to deliver when it mattered most, going above and beyond to help.  

A bit about Vito

Vito Ferrone is a communications solutions provider and proud father of three based in Milan. Starting out with a background in IT and computer graphics, Vito has always been passionate about problem solving. A hard worker from a young age, Vito started his business as a rubber stamps centre and copy shop. He grew it into LoretoPrint, where he works alongside his team to deliver the best possible solutions for the customers who are at the heart of the business. Vito is driven by finding solutions for any problem his customers have, whatever it may be – and he is proud that his team of 29 have adopted this mentality too.
I love finding new solutions for my customers. I see my team and myself as problem solvers… There is no 'but we don’t do this kind of job'.
Vito takes a hands-on approach to running his hectic printing shop. You will find him there from 7am every morning waiting in anticipation for the shutters to open at 9, where in his words “the excitement really begins”. Vito has an inspiring commitment to the digital printing business and takes great pride in his work. For him, “every single job is a work of art”. He is also proud to be a well-known brand in his community that helps “customers to turn their ideas into realities”.

From Milan to Haiti

In 2009, Vito started to work on a project for Foundation Francesca Rava – an independent, non-profit foundation whose mission is to help children in serious need around the world. At the time, the Foundation were supporting children in Haiti. Vito immediately started thinking about how he could help. Putting his problem-solving skills to the test, Vito researched what they might need and realised that they had no access to printing machines. He felt the biggest way he could make an impact was with what he knew best. So, Vito bought some printers and sent them to Haiti. This act of generosity led to an opportunity arising for Vito to visit Haiti with the Foundation. He felt compelled to go.

The first few days of the trip were very hard. Vito slept at the hospital and the sights he saw there affected him deeply. The trip took place not long after Vito’s own son had been born and the experience of seeing the children in serious need in Haiti at this pivotal moment in his life had a profound affect.
I saw what a difference life in Italy to Haiti was and realised how lucky I was… seeing those children and being a new father myself, it was an incredible experience.
In the beginning, Vito had no idea how to help. But he quickly decided that “the best way was to teach and share my knowledge of the printing business”.  He did so in many ways, from providing help to local people at the hospital, to teachers at a nearby school, where he printed new schoolbooks for children on Color Copy paper. Vito also trained four people at a small printing centre in the hospital, working alongside them, getting to know them and showing them how to use the printing machines. From there they could print essential documents like birth and death certificates.

Vito left Haiti having shared his knowledge and having provided equipment and skills that the people there could rely on in the future.

An earth shattering experience

Not long after Vito had returned home from this trip to his family in Milan, in January 2010, Haiti was hit by a devastating earthquake. Roughly 250,000 lives were lost. This huge loss included people that Vito had come to know during his previous trip. Of the four printers Vito had trained, three of them had tragically lost their lives in the earthquake. Vito bravely decided: “I need to go back and help”.

He got on the next flight to Haiti that he could and arrived at the airport armed with 10 trolleys full of boxes of different medicines to help the injured. On his return, Vito discovered one small consolation amidst the devastation. The printing centre at the hospital had remarkably remained intact. To Vito’s surprise, in his absence, the printing centre had really taken off. The one person Vito had trained who had survived the earthquake had kept the printing centre going and done all that he could to make it work. Following the disaster, Vito helped them move the centre out of the hospital into a new location, and spent time teaching more people there about printing and quality. With Vito’s guidance, the team there were able to become self-sufficient. This made Vito extremely proud and is what he describes as “absolutely the best reward”.

After this life-changing experience, Vito returned home to his copy shop in Milan. Here he continues to work hard to be the reliable choice for his customers and to be a figure that those in need can rely on. He still works very closely with the Foundation and keeps in touch with the people he met during his time in Haiti, including two orphans that he continues to support to this day. Reflecting on his time in Haiti, Vito humbly shared:

It is only a small contribution that I have made, but I am happy to have had this experience
Vito has been a long-term Color Copy customer, and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share his inspiring story. It shows just how important reliability is in moments that matter, a quality emulated by Color Copy. Paper that is trusted to deliver the best colour printing, every time.

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