For Dorothy Baker, community
service has been a part of her life since birth. Growing up in a missionary
household, Dorothy's family home doubled as a shelter for abused women and
children, and her family spent years serving others in China, Canada and many
parts of the United States. But for Dorothy, The Salvation Army has always held
a special place in her heart.
"The Salvation Army has always been a part of my life, even more so recently
since I retired and I can give them my time and my heart," she said.
After 35 years in the workforce, Dorothy retired in 2009 and has become a
devoted volunteer with The Salvation Army, managing
several annual initiatives and providing mentorship and tutoring to young
Dorothy began her tenure with The Salvation Army working with young children
at The Salvation Army Red Shield
Family Residence, and began tutoring at The Salvation Army Ray
and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center when it opened in 2010. She spends at
least 20 hours of her time every week on her various projects, including the
annual "Jammin' for Jammies" pajama collection for needy
inner city children. Affectionately regarded as the "Pajama Lady", Dorothy has been
driving the annual program for the last two years. She is responsible for all
program outreach, and spends hours at The Salvation Army's
headquarters collecting and sorting donations for distribution. Dorothy is
touched each year by the impact The Salvation Army's programs have on community
"You cannot imagine the joy on the faces of these young souls as they get
their new pajamas," she said. "It brings tears to your eyes."
Dorothy has devoted the majority of her retired life to The Salvation Army
and credits the organization for its ability to "Do the Most Good" and its
strong mission of serving others.
"I enjoy volunteering with The Salvation Army because I believe that their
focus is on serving, and being raised in a missionary household, that is what I
was raised to believe is our duty," she said. "I like everything about
volunteering with The Salvation Army. I find such dedication in everyone that I
meet here, and it feels like a family to me."
Dorothy’s goals for 2012 include working on instituting new programs
at The Salvation Army Kroc Center and continuing to give all she can to others
through The Salvation Army's diverse programs.
"I can't give much, but I can give my heart, my hands, and my time," she
said. "This is the first time that I feel like I'm doing something worthwhile.
Whatever the need is, The Salvation Army is there to provide solutions."