AARP’s Create The Good was once only a vision, but is now a destination for millions of Americans who want to make a difference. AARP’s founder, Ethel Percy Andrus, often spoke the words “Create the Good” in her articles for AARP’s magazine, then titled, Modern Maturity magazine and when speaking about the importance of individuals volunteering and giving back to their communities. She believed that anyone, anywhere, anytime could make a difference. It was Dr. Andrus’ belief in collective action that is at the heart of Create The Good today.
Even in a tough economy, Kentuckians still find time and ways to give back to their communities and at a rate higher than the national average. The state’s volunteerism rate is 25.3% earning the state a respectful 31st out of 50 states and one territory, Washington, D.C. Data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics gives a snapshot of the value of volunteers in the state:
- 25.3% - Kentucky adults volunteering in 2008
- 836,000 - Kentucky adults volunteering in 2008
- 105,293 – adults volunteering independent of an organization
- $17.00 – estimated hourly rate for volunteer services
Dr. Andrus’ vision then was a call to action, “The challenge to live up to our better selves, to believe well of our fellow men and perhaps by doing so to help Create The Good, to experiment, to explore, to change and to grow.” AARP’s response to that call today is Create the Good.
Right now, AARP has more than 9 million people giving back through AARP. But, we don’t want to stop there. With million members, think about what could be achieved with just one percent of them taking an extra step to help people in their community.
Create The Good in Kentucky
In April, AARP sponsored the 2nd Annual Morehead-Rowan County Repair Affair. Approximately 500 volunteers came together to assist low-income, elderly and disabled members of the community with minor home repairs.
In west Kentucky, AARP is working with local volunteers and organizations to bring back “Repair Affair 2010.” According to AARP volunteer, Charlotte Whittaker, “I know the damage from last year’s ice storm and just everyday home maintenance is a challenge for many of our seniors. I’m excited this collaboration is going to be able to reach out to our seniors and deliver the help they need. Create The Good is a great way to get involved and lend a hand.”
Making good even better
Getting involved through AARP is a great way to get to know your community better, meet new people and help improve the lives of your neighbors. We want to grow new opportunities for them to get their friends, family and communities involved in the issues that matter most to them.
Create the Good is a great way to find opportunities in your community and connect with people to share ideas, learn new skills, and read about the latest ways people are making a difference locally.
AARP is encouraging volunteers to collect school supplies to help students in need in your community. Watch for details at www.createthegood.org, including “Do It Yourself” tool kits helping you organize a school supply drive where you live.
It’s never too late to get involved! You can connect with these efforts by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and registering with the Create the Good network at createthegood.org and search for volunteer opportunities in your Zip Code. Together we can make a difference.