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Volunteer Spotlight: You’ve Earned A Say

The future of Social Security and Medicare is too important to be decided behind closed doors in Washington. You’ve earned your benefits by paying into Social Security and Medicare for years – and we’re working hard to make your voice heard.

That’s why AARP has launched You’ve Earned a Say, a national conversation about the future of these programs. Whether you live in Springfield or Salem, Barnstable or Boston – you deserve a say.

With the help of a dedicated corps of volunteers, including Ruth Villard of Dorchester, we’ll be holding community conversations across the Bay State to hear from seniors and their families about proposals to keep Social Security and Medicare strong for today’s seniors and future generations. We caught up with Ruth and asked her to share her thoughts on the importance of these programs, and how she thinks her community can make a difference. (Hint – being quiet is not the answer!)

Ruth, you’re a long time AARP chapter volunteer, and very involved in your community in a number of different ways. Why did you decide to add more to your plate and get involved with You’ve Earned A Say?

Yes, I’ve been a member of the AARP Franklin Park Chapter #4685 for nearly eight years, and have served as the Community Service chair for four years. I care deeply about Social Security and Medicare, and want to make sure that every senior in my surrounding area – and beyond! – understands what is happening, and how important it is to make our voices heard about these programs. We must keep Social Security and Medicare alive and well for our children, grandchildren and generations to come.

What do you hope to accomplish by participating in You’ve Earned A Say?

I want to speak to as many different groups as I can – and I want to get people riled up and talking about how we can protect and strengthen our Social Security and Medicare benefits!

And I think that it is key to not only focus on seniors – these issues affect everyone. There are lots of politicians who don’t understand what’s at stake. We have to reach them too. We won’t be strong enough if we are speaking apart – we must walk the walk together. It will take all of us to have the power to protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare.

How can others in your neighborhood – and beyond – get involved?

Make your voice heard! There are events planned all over the state – attend a community conversation. You can also get involved by speaking to your own community groups, friends, family, and neighbors. We all deserve a say in the future of Medicare and Social Security, and together we can make a difference.

Learn More about You’ve Earned A Say

AARP Massachusetts needs your help! If you want to get involved as a volunteer and help coordinate activities in your area, email us at for more information.

To find an event near you, check our calendar – we’ll be updating regularly with the latest scheduled community conversations. You can also stay up to date by liking the AARP MA Facebook page.

Tell us what you think. Fill out this questionnaire and share your thoughts on Social Security and Medicare.

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