Loomis mom lends a hand where it's needed

Ann Baker is sewn up in her kids and community
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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Ann Baker, of Loomis, is never too busy to lend a hand when help is needed. Baker insists that she is only one of many dedicated volunteers in the community. The former systems integrator for the Shell Oil Company now spends her days immersed in the lives of her four children and volunteers in all of their activities. “I don’t think of it as volunteering. There is a lot of joy in doing things for kids,” Baker said. Baker can usually be found wherever her family is. Husband Nathan Baker is the scoutmaster for Boy Scouts of America Troop 12 in Loomis and Ann works behind the scenes to assist him. She serves on the board of the Loomis Basin Dolphins swim team, working with the teenage swimmers. All four of her children swim on the Dolphins team. They are Ben, 16, a Del Oro High School junior, Sam, 15, a freshman at Del Oro, Amanda, 11, a Franklin Elementary School fifth-grader, and James, 7, a first-grader at Franklin. Melody Howard, of Loomis, who serves with her husband as president of the Dolphins team, has worked with volunteer Baker. “She’s not afraid to step in and offer to do things. She’s wonderful,” Howard said. According to Howard, Baker is very knowledgeable and able to articulate her ideas and bring to light relevant issues. “She’s a delight to have on the board,” Howard said. Baker is also the president of the Franklin Parent Teacher Club and over the years has organized various activities for the students. Her daughter, Amanda, enjoys seeing her mom at school. “I think its fun to have her around. She does a lot and my friends like the class parties she does,” Amanda said. Amanda also benefits from her mom serving as coach for her basketball team. Ann Baker points out that she had no prior coaching experience before accepting the job. “I played in high school and they needed a coach,” she explains of her foray into coaching. Ann teaches a class at her church and leads a sewing group in 4-H. She points out that one does not need to be an expert to volunteer. “I’m not an expert seamstress, I teach the kids the basics. People shouldn’t feel like they have to be experts to work with kids,” she said. Baker also spends a lot of her time as a volunteer driver for the Del Oro water polo teams that her older sons compete on. “It gives me a chance to be with my kids and their friends,” she said of the miles spent on the road. Baker said that her volunteer work “helps me stay connected to the community and be a part of the community.” “That’s where I’ve made some of my closest friends."