Leading By Example 2009: Stitch Saves

Leading by example

They say a stitch in time saves nine, but the quilts crafted by Pauline Baldwin have helped countless numbers.
The Billerica elder, known for her tireless work with the Boys and Girl scouts, Lions Club and the many seniors of Billerica, was honored with the Senior Citizen of the Year Award. The award is named in memory of Eugene L. Lecomte, a past president of the Friends of the Billerica Council on Aging and a loving family man and true community advocate. In honor of Lecomte’s dedication to the senior population of Billerica and spirit of volunteerism, each year a deserving senior is selected by a committee to win this award. Past winners of the award include Betty Anderson and Fred Kenyon. “I’m a people person. I love to be around people and help others out,” said Baldwin. From the time she was in high school, Baldwin has been volunteering in nearly every aspect of her life. When her children were younger, she was active in the Boy and Girl scouts, Billerica Friends of Music, and many other community organizations. As she grew older, she discovered what would become a lifelong passion, quilting. Originally volunteering at the Quilting Museum in Lowell, she decided to invest her talent at the Billerica Senior Center, to teach others the craft she had grown to love. Being the founder of the center’s Quilting Club, Baldwin leads weekly demonstrations on different quilting patterns and encourages the club’s members to go home and try to quilt the pattern. She enjoys showing people that they can do something if they put their minds to it. “I like to show the people that say ‘I can’t do that’ that they can if they try,” said Baldwin, following the award ceremony held on Friday, May 1. Her daughter Rebecca gave a short speech outlining the many ways her mother has given back to the community. In their family, she said, quilting is something one learns from birth, and even her 1-year-old son has an extensive resume of quilting shows and classes. “We have always known what a wonderful and giving person my mom is,” she said. “We thank you for recognizing this as well.”
Through all of her volunteer and charity work, Baldwin still finds time to spend with her family and grandchildren. In the end, she feels that sharing is the most rewarding part of doing what she does because she can teach her passion and pass on what she has learned to others. Baldwin also offered advice to those who might be interested in volunteering.

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