Volunteer Spotlight: Jim Baker

Apr 3, 2023 | by Evelyn Cuevas

Since the beginning, Volunteers have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with The Salvation Army to provide help for our neighbors in need. The Salvation Army Metro Atlanta Area Command (MAAC) knows that without volunteers, "Doing The Most Good" would be impossible. In honor of National Volunteer Month, which is celebrated in April to recognize the contributions of all volunteers, MAAC is spotlighting one of its many dedicated volunteers, Jim Baker.

Baker’s first volunteer experience with MAAC was helping with the Thanksgiving meal service at The Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta’s Red Shield Services Emergency and Transitional Housing Facility (Red Shield Services) in Atlanta in 2020.

Red Shield Services provides strategic intervention, refuge, and safe lodging for homeless men, women, and families with children in crisis. The focus is to provide emergency, transitional, and recovery programs that empower people of all ages to begin their transition to stable independence; by discovering and overcoming the root causes of their homelessness.

When asked what inspired him to volunteer Baker said, "A church friend recommended that I check it out. I've always had a passion for cooking and volunteer work, so it was a great combination!" He has become a regular in the kitchen at Red Shield Services helping in all areas of the operation including food organization, preparation, cooking, serving, and cleaning.

Baker's favorite thing about volunteering is the people: "Those I serve alongside are inspiring role models for hard work with a smile; even when starting their day long before the sun rises! Likewise, I know those being served are thankful for the chance for a better life for themselves and their children... some individuals with a very difficult past now turn around in redemption to serve others. When I head back home, I find my heart filled with gratitude for the chance to see these role models."

What inspires Baker to give back? His belief that volunteers make the community stronger in a sustainable way and that those being helped will extend the same to others. "Just jump in! There is a wide set of things to help with and you'll learn a lot...time will fly by, and you’ll walk away with more joy in your heart!"

Baker volunteers and serves with the Salvation Army in several capacities. MAAC is grateful for his service and for all of the volunteers who dedicate their time and talents to support the mission of The Salvation Army.

To learn more about how you can volunteer, click here.

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