Volunteer of the Month – August 2013

I am so so so so so (did I mention SO) excited to announce my first “Miss International 2013’s Volunteer of the Month Award! (of course, formerly known as Miss New York International’s…)  August 2013’s winner is Linda Baker!

I met Linda Baker of Darien Center, NY at the New York Special Olympics State Championship.  I quickly realized that Linda was a selfless individual who truly had her heart and soul connected to this organization.  She says, “I am not sure if I chose [Special Olympics] or it chose me.  They athletes are incredibly welcoming and have such generous hearts.  All they want is to be accepted for who they are.  They want to be accepted for their abilities, not their disabilities…. Once I opened my heart and mind to them, I was hooked.” (well said!)

Linda has been a Law Enforcement Torch Run volunteer for 14 years and in 2011 was selected for the incredibly honorable role as New York’s representative to run the final leg in the Special Olympics WORLD GAMES in Greece!  (The Law Enforcement Torch Run is the largest grassroots fundraiser for the S.O. in the world and helps fund training, equipment, uniforms, transportation, etc. – Learn more at http://www.specialolympics.org/Sections/Donate/Special_Olympics_Torch_Run.aspx)

Linda personifies the versatility of today’s volunteer, participating in Polar Plunges (jumping into freeeeeeezing cold wate) and rappelling down a 26-story building to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics!  She credits her volunteer spirit to her parents, who were actively involved in community and civic events.  In her spare time Linda is an avid runner and scrapbooker.  She has two sons, Ken and Mike, a daughter-in-law, Jessie, and her precious grandson, Silas.  Linda will receive a commemorative certificate and a $25 Visa Gift Card sponsored by VolunteerMatch.  Thank you for your inspiring service and dedication!

Linda presenting awards to athletes in 2011; At the World Games in Greece – Torch in hand; Rappelling down Seneca Niagara Casino

Are you or someone you know an outstanding volunteer?  Contact me at 2013missinternational@gmail.com for an official application!

Seek Happiness,



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