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A Lifetime Commitment to Community Service

How appropriate that statement was years ago, and still is today. Together we must strengthen Social Security for African Americans—for all Americans. And we can do this by working together.

And that brings us back to community service, which demands that we work together. AARP has volunteers across the country hosting forums to get the word out about Social Security. But that's not all they're doing.

As I mentioned earlier, one of the hats I wear at AARP is Director of our AARP Foundation. The Foundation's core is involved in community service.

For example, it's tax season, so thousands of our volunteers are providing free tax preparation assistance and advice through AARP Foundation's Tax-Aide program. And not just to seniors, but to anyone who may need it.

The AARP Foundation is AARP's affiliated charity. Foundation programs provide security, protection and empowerment for older people 50+ with emphasis to those at social and economic risk.

In addition to Tax-Aide, other Foundation programs include the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) to assist low-income over 55 in finding jobs; and the Money Management Program, which offers daily money management services to low-income elderly in Washington, DC.

Foundation litigation staff members protect the legal rights of older Americans in critical health, long-term care, and consumer and employment situations. And they do an outstanding job. Foundation programs and litigation are funded by grants, tax deductible contributions and AARP.

Others AARP volunteers are leading their peers through our driver refresher course—AARP Driver Safety—to help maintain safety on our roads.

And many of our retired teachers are mentoring our youth through after-school tutoring and other opportunities, as well as mentoring new teachers to help reverse their trend of abandoning the classroom after a few years.

Our volunteers spend time at the U.S. Capitol and state capitols across the country advocating for the needs of people over age 50—making sure older Americans are not overlooked.

We just had the Reverend Walter Fauntroy at AARP last week to help us celebrate Black History Month, and this is what he said, "AARP is one of the most important organizations for the African American community and all older Americans."

These are just a few examples of the community service at AARP that keeps me excited about the place where I work. It encourages me to work harder to reach more people.

At AARP, we believe in the power to make it better, and community service is a big part of that power and a key priority for our organization.

Let me briefly share another experience that put me on the path to volunteering and community service—in addition to my Alpha brothers, of course.

There's no question that community service matters. And I'm proud to carry on the Alpha tradition.

Let's work together to do the most that we can for those that need our help.

To quote Edmund Burke, "All that is necessary for evil to progress is for good men and women to stand by and do nothing."

Well, Alpha, we have never stood by and done nothing! So as Marvin Gaye said, "Let's Get It On!"

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