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Making a Positive Difference: Volunteer for AARP

Another way is by becoming an AARP “e-activist”. Sign up to receive alerts on critical issues affecting older Americans. Your phone call or e-mail may help influence Congress or the state Legislature to stand up for Americans of all generations on a key vote.

You also can take part in an AARP Florida Day of Service project in your community. Started after the terrorist attacks of 2001, the Day of Service is traditionally held in September of every year to allow AARP members, volunteers and staff to work hands-on for one day in communities around the state and nation, improving the lives of others. In addition to the annual Day of Service, AARP Florida also conducts other service events during the year. Watch the Florida state webpage for upcoming Day of Service activities.

"Volunteering in any of these ways is really a win-win-win situation," says Jeff Johnson, AARP Florida's Interim State Director. "In each opportunity, you will come away with new information about an issue that affects you and others age 50+. You also get a chance to give back to your community. And studies have shown that people who volunteer to help others experience important health and psychological benefits themselves.”

“That’s especially true of volunteering as an AARP advocate,” Johnson added. “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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