Sep 01 2022 / Round the Table Magazine
Spreading the wealth
“Now they call it charity; in those days, it was just the way it was.”
Looking back on his upbringing, Adrian P. Baker, Dip PFS, remembers how everyone in the community helped each other. Even though his family rented a council house owned by the state and didn’t have much money, assisting the less fortunate became second nature. The 40-year MDRT member from Bristol, England, UK, recalls picking up food and delivering it to elderly men and women who couldn’t leave their house. In return, the recipients would offer knowledge, with one man telling Baker, “If you want to do well, you’ve gotta work hard.”
There is no question that Baker, the MDRT Foundation President, has done both, and hasn’t stopped the latter after achieving the former.
Twelve years ago, he founded a charity (Baby Check Bath) to provide babies with free cranial osteopathy, a noninvasive treatment that helps newborns with feeding difficulties and alleviated the back pain Baker felt from 48 years of teaching martial arts. He also supports charities aiding abandoned horses, dogs and cats in need, and a local children’s hospice, all while running a charity through his practice as well.
His relationship with the MDRT Foundation is such that Baker, now an Excalibur Knight, can pinpoint the exact start of his giving to $1,000 donated Sept. 10, 1986. That item is on a spreadsheet he uses to track all his donations and to ensure that he gives enough each year. While he continued his financial involvement as he built his business, it wasn’t until 2014 that Baker was first asked to be part of an MDRT Membership Committee.
Adrian Baker volunteers during the MDRT Foundation service project benefiting Give Kids the World Village at the 2017 MDRT Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, USA.
In the following years, he chaired the membership committee (2015); served as a Foundation Trustee (2016 to 2018); and was nominated to serve as Treasurer (2020), Secretary (2021), Vice President (2022) and now President.
His goals for his presidential term are to align the MDRT Foundation’s global presence with that of MDRT itself, specifically increasing awareness and involvement in places, including but not limited to India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan Area and Thailand. This expansion will not be at the expense of anywhere else, Baker notes, but in addition to it.
“It’s a big ask, but it’s perfectly possible,” he said.
Baker hopes that technology can make contacting and donating to the Foundation easier for people, perhaps even through their mobile device. One of the Foundation’s greatest assets is it is driven by members’ enthusiasm, contributions and causes, and he hopes that helping people give more easily and more regularly can lead to even more grant funding worldwide. Working with the Membership Communications Committee and other MDRT members to spread the word can help further connect to new places in the world, he says.
On this topic of expansion, Baker notes of two things: One is, after a recent conversation with members in Thailand and Malaysia, recognizing the ubiquity of WhatsApp in many southeast Asian countries and the importance of keeping up with technology in all locations. The other is the varying ways of life in different places, such as in India, where he built a hotel in the southwest part of the country. Baker observed that it is normal for children in India to meditate before going to school and saw the massive impact that grandparents have on their grandchildren’s education.
In many small villages he visited, he says, there aren’t any locked doors.
“There are parts of the world where I don’t think they even understand the concept of charitable giving because the whole place is a community,” he said. “There are different ways of doing things that we don’t know about yet, and we need to.”
There is a connection from Baker’s childhood to his penchant for helping others, and it’s clear that the new MDRT Foundation President has no plans to ease up on the hard work component while working to expand the organization’s reach and impact.
“Everything needs energy and ideas, and there’s lots to do,” Baker said. “I can’t wait.”
Contact: Adrian Baker email@example.com