BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Her face may look very familiar because she's involved in so many community things. Linda Montagnino is a super volunteer whose been helping others for more than 30 years!
When shoppers who'd lined up around the building in March for the Inner Wheel's Trash and Treasure sale went thundering into the shopping cart corral, Linda was one of the volunteers. The Trash and Treasure Sale is a bargain hunter's nirvana. Goods are collected all year from people and estates. Montagnino has volunteered here for five years. And for one year was top boss when she was president of Inner Wheel.
Montagnino says it is thrilling!
"Anybody can walk in there with $5 and buy something and walk out with it and know they've helped a charity!" she said.
At Baton Rouge Country Club recently, Linda was modeling a rich fur coat for a gathering of the Inner Wheel. Tables were stacked with info on the 3rd Tier volunteer programs members would vote on and choose.
Inner Wheel burns rubber, they're so enthusiastic and busy throughout the year. They adopt a dozen causes. If they need money for an event, they hold a party. The Pink Tool Belt Bash raised money for supplies for their team of women building houses for Habitat.
Linda, now former president is happy to be a worker bee again. She was hugging necks, pushing information sheets. Montagnino started her volunteer career in 1984, when she caught the bug at Special Olympics.
Since then, there have been thousands of volunteer jobs she's taken for dozens of charities.
Not just huge events, she also loves uber quiet, tiny jobs like envelope stuffing about a Grief Support Group that Baton Rouge Hospice has. Two mail trays stuffed with processed envelopes show the large number of families who lose loved ones to illness. Families emerge from years as a caregiver now needing to establish a new normal. A support group can make sure they know they're not alone.
Montagnino knows this place well, she helps Hospice with office work several times a month. Linda wants to show us a new project this year that was a huge success. June was their first Camp Conquer.
"It was for children that have lost loved ones. It's to help them cope with their grieving. My siblings and I lost my mom at a very early age. I was 9 years old at the time. So I feel like Camp Conquer if it would've been around then. It would've helped me so much. Because Camp Conquer is very good for the children because it lets them know they're not alone."
"When I volunteer for an organization I have to believe in that organization And I really give it my heart to be a part of it."
She's happy volunteering, always believing, following her heart.
Louisiana Honda Dealers, the Capital Area United Way Volunteer Center and WAFB are proud to sponsor the Power of 9 awards, honoring people like Linda Montagnino who give so much to our community!