Over 50 years ago, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, founded AARP with the motto, "To serve, not to be served." Today, more than 9 million people give back through AARP's volunteer, donor and activist networks. But, given the scope of the economic challenges ahead, the number of people who need help is growing.
Through Create The Good—AARP's network of people who want to make a difference—people are finding new and different ways to give back in their community. And, they are connecting with people in ways that fit their busy schedules.
Four in 10 baby boomers, and older Americans, have told AARP they want to help even more than they have in the past. Despite the reputation as the "Me Generation," boomers are showing the world that the "WE Generation" is a more accurate description. Their efforts are making the world better one neighbor, one community at a time.
Whether people have five minutes, or five hours, there is a new call to action and AARP is responding with key resources to help improve our neighborhoods and communities.
Create The Good expands upon traditional, scheduled ways to volunteer by exploring simple steps, time-flexible opportunities, and a wide variety of ways to get involved. The Web site, aarp.org/CreateTheGood features free, downloadable toolkits to organize a group to help neighborhoods in need.
Create The Good launched its first offering, called Operation Energy Save, which featured a downloadable toolkit that sought to engage people in helping friends and neighbors in need save money on their energy bills.
The Create The Good network responded swiftly, with more than 20,000 people downloading the "Help A Neighbor" kit and more than 2,500 people downloading "Organize a Group" kits to conduct Operation Energy Save activities. Create The Good will continue to offer other featured opportunities like Operation Energy Save throughout the year.
Other examples of volunteer activities you could pursue through Create The Good include:
- Use your financial skills to help people in need prepare their taxes.
- Teach a driver safety course to help keep our streets safe.
- Start a walking group with your friends to stay healthy.
- Write a letter to your elected officials about an issue that is important to your family.
- Assess your neighbor's home for safety concerns with Create The Good's handy checklists.
- Help a jobseeker assess their skills, update their resume and prepare for interviews.
- Use Create The Good's tools to help someone in need file for benefits or plan for retirement.
Anyone can visit aarp.org/CreateTheGood to find hundreds of easily sortable opportunities, organizing tools and an online community of fellow Americans making a difference. If you are interested in making a difference in your community, I encourage you to sign up for the Create The Good network at aarp.org/CreateTheGood and get connected today.