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Volunteers Make A Difference In Their Communities

In AARP Mississippi, people make the difference.

AARP Mississippi volunteers use their life and work skills to make the state better for people who are over age 50. They participate in advocacy, community outreach and communications activities for issues that are important to them. For example, volunteers have called or emailed their members of Congress and asked them not to cut Social Security and Medicare.

“I volunteer with AARP because I believe in the issues for which AARP fights,” said Elouise McLaughlin, who along with her husband, Ronald, is District Team Lead for the 3rd Congressional District. “AARP fights for increasing Home and Community-Based Services Elderly and Disabled Waivers; helping to avoid identity theft; helping to keep Social Security and Medicare benefits; and working for other issues for seniors. All of these issues are near and dear to my heart. I feel I have contributed to making someone else’s life a little more comfortable and helped someone else have a better quality of life.”

AARP is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization and does not endorse political candidates. Volunteers provide information about issues that affect the over 50 population.

Volunteers can:

  • Share the benefits of life experiences.
  • Help achieve the goals AARP Mississippi members care most about – health, financial security, independent living, as well as consumer and investment fraud protection.
  • Benefit from high quality training and education.
  • Enjoy stimulating new challenges.
  • Partner with others who share their commitment to improving quality of life.

“AARP Mississippi volunteers work on issues they can understand and feel,” said AARP Mississippi State President Bruce W. Brice, Sr. of Natchez. “We understand what cuts to Social Security and Medicare would mean for thousands of older Mississippians.” As State President, Brice presides over the AARP Mississippi Executive Council, the volunteer board.

AARP Mississippi’s volunteer structure corresponds with the state’s four Congressional Districts. Each district has a Regional Volunteer Coordinator and District Team Lead who communicates with volunteers in their respective districts.

Geraldine Patton of Hernando is the Regional Volunteer Coordinator for the 1st Congressional District. “I enjoy volunteering because I’m a people person, and volunteering gives me a feeling of satisfaction that I can do something to help someone else,” said Patton who also has served as president of the AARP chapter in DeSoto County. She said she also is concerned about senior citizens who may not have access to information they need to make informed decisions about a variety of issues.

Dennis Nordin, Ph.D., of Starkville became a volunteer after reading an AARP Bulletin story about the need for Mississippians to talk to members of Congress about issues that affect older residents.

“I think it’s important to have a voice and share a message even if it doesn’t resonant with the person for whom it is directed,” Nordin said. “At some point, maybe they’ll listen. I strongly believe in the need to protect people’s rights, whether they are elderly or young.”

In some cities and areas, AARP members have formed chapters that allow them to work together in their own neighborhoods. AARP Mississippi’s 25 chapters provide a vital link between members, communities and AARP programs and services. Chapters also provide a variety of community service, education, leadership and friendship opportunities.

Volunteers and chapter members also are working in their communities to get churches, faith-based groups and other organizations to participate in Drive To End Hunger. All AARP members have the option to select volunteer opportunities through AARP’s Create The Good program.

To learn how to volunteer with AARP in Mississippi, email MS@aarp.org or call 1-866-554-5382.

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