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Lions Club volunteer is paying it forward

Chris Baugh recognized for service to charity she benefitted from as a child

Created date

November 23rd, 2010

Winston Churchill once said: We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. It s that giving spirit that has recently earned Christine Baugh the Melvin Jones Fellowship award from the Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF). Named for its founder, Melvin Jones, the fellowship was established as LCIF s highest form of recognition to acknowledge an individual s dedication to humanitarian service. The members of the Oak Crest Lions Club make these things happen, says Baugh. We would never be able to do it without everyone s wonderful support. It is nice to be in a position to work with a group that is giving, and I enjoy that. The immediate past president of the 27-member Oak Crest Lions Club chapter, Baugh says growing up she had a personal connection to the Overlea Lions Club. My brother, Duke, and I attended the Maryland School for the Blind, says Baugh, blind since birth. The Overlea Lions Club was very involved with our school. When I moved to Oak Crest and found out there was a Lions Club, I thought it was a great opportunity for me to give back for all of the wonderful things done for me and my school when I was young.

Time well spent

The Oak Crest Lions Club performs a variety of group service projects throughout the year, including an annual spring candy sale to raise funds for the Oak Crest Scholars Fund, the Maryland School for the Blind, the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Clinic, and Leader Dogs for the Blind based in Michigan; a bi-annual campus food drive for The Parkville Pantry, sponsored by St. John s Lutheran Church, Hiss Methodist Church, and St. Ursula s Catholic Church; participation in the worldwide Lions Peace Poster Contest; as well as collecting and sorting eyeglasses and hearing aids for third-world countries. It s wonderful to know you re helping someone who needs it and you re making a difference in people s lives, says Baugh who admits she gets just as much out of volunteering as she gives. For me, one of the great things about the Lions Club is the opportunity to work with such a great group of volunteers. Knowing all these people is really the greatest gift for me. A teacher of 41 years from the Arkansas and Maryland Schools for the Blind and the Baltimore City Public School s Vision Program, Baugh says since retiring and moving to Oak Crest she s busier now than she s ever been. Living here has provided me with opportunities to do things I otherwise would have never thought about doing, she says. I probably would have never have joined the Lions Club if I hadn t been here. But living here has given me a greater awareness of volunteer opportunities and the needs throughout the greater community.