Vera M. Falú, one of AARP Virgin Islands long-serving and deeply devoted Executive Council members, has agreed to temporarily assume the AARP VI State President position vacated recently when Dr. Paul Simmonds relocated to Jamaica.
Dr. Simmonds relocated to Jamaica because he was presented with an opportunity to develop a unique university level program that had been in discussion at the University of the West Indies for many years. While Dr. Simmonds anticipates returning to the Virgin Islands shortly, this left AARP VI with a vacancy in a crucial position.
Thankfully, Falú stepped up to the plate and volunteered to take on this important role at a time when AARP members are facing serious financial challenges. An AARP member since 1998, Falú has played a major leadership role with AARP Virgin Islands since 2003. Even though Falú held a full time, high pressure position with the Virgin Islands government, she always arranged her schedule so that she could balance her duties as the Director of the Herbert Grigg Home for the Aged with AARP’s work with the 50+ community.
As a community opinion leader among the Hispanic community in St. Croix, Falú was able to expand AARP VI’s reach to the Spanish speaking populations residing on St. Croix. Falú’s work to embrace this segment of the community has done much to help recognize this traditionally underserved population.
While with the AARP VI Executive Council, Falú has filled various roles over the years including: Executive Council Chairperson for Diversity, Hispanic Outreach, and most recently the portfolio lead for “My Personal Time.” Falú worked with AARP throughout AARP’s original Social Security campaign in 2005, our Medicare Part D educational outreach, AARP’s Divided We Fail campaign, AARP’s support and community education around including the Virgin Islands in the Affordable Care Act and most recently with the You’ve Earned A Say initiative giving important messages about Social Security and Medicare through the Dimelo radio program.
When Falú retired from the VI Government in 2011, she indicated an even greater interest in spending more time and energy volunteering with AARP. So, even before AARP VI learned of Dr. Simmonds’ unexpected departure, Falú was assuming a greater leadership role than she had in the past.
Prior to agreeing to become the Interim State President for AARP VI she and her My Personal Time volunteers were in the process of developing several new and exciting projects. One project in particular focuses on this year’s Day of Service activity. As part of this project, AARP volunteers are soliciting toiletries as contributions from the community which will be placed in a personal care bag. The bags will be handed out to homeless persons that frequent the Frederiksted area of St. Croix. It is hoped that these items will provide the homeless population with essentials that will make their lives just a little bit easier.
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