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AARP Florida Wants You to Become a Volunteer Advocate

AARP is making a difference—whether it's fighting to reform America's health system or protecting vital services for vulnerable Floridians. But we can't do it without you. AARP Florida is always on the look out for new volunteer advocates to take a bigger role in the organization and help make Florida and the country a better place.

Volunteer advocates play a huge part in AARP's mission to better the lives of all 50+ citizens. You can easily be a part of that mission by becoming a volunteer.

Whether it's organizing local groups to participate in advocacy events around the state; speaking to other organizations about issues like health reform; building relationships with legislators and letting them know what AARP thinks about certain issues; or even just being an activist who receives email updates about recent state events and issues that may be of interest; AARP needs you.

Volunteer advocates meet on a regular basis with fellow volunteers in their community to learn about the issues and plan upcoming events. Most volunteers report that beyond the regular meetings (monthly or bi-monthly) and in-depth trainings, the time commitment is sporadic—there can be lots of work in a week preparing for a rally or a presentation, but also weeks where there is much less work. The volunteer structure is intended to allow people to get as involved as they can while recognizing that volunteers have a life beyond AARP.

"Volunteering for AARP's advocacy work is really a win-win-win situation," says Jeff Johnson, AARP Florida's Manager of State Operations. "It's a great way to stay informed on the issues that affect us and to really develop expertise that very few people have. It's a wonderful opportunity to meet some very interesting and diverse people from your community and across the state and build some tremendous friendships. Most importantly, you are using your power as an individual to make life better for your fellow Floridians."

Doug Heinlen has been an AARP volunteer since 2002 and is now AARP Florida's state president. Heinlen was first drawn to AARP after witnessing age discrimination in the workplace and finding out that AARP was doing something about it.

"The issues relating to older citizens are important and AARP seems to be able to influence these issue outcomes without getting all tangled up in revenge and "gotcha" politics," Heinlen said. "What AARP does is important and lots of 'good' things are promoted by AARP and AARP volunteers, on a local, state and national level."

To become an AARP volunteer contact the Florida state office by calling 1-866-595-7678 or send an e-mail to flaarp@aarp.org.

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