Dr. Andrus recognized that, through volunteerism, AARP members could make their greatest contribution. So it makes perfect sense that she adopted as AARP’s motto, “To serve and not to be served,” saying, “Our respect and dignity are not given us. Status is not conferred upon us. It is won, and won first through our conviction of the need of others, then through our action for service to those others.”
AARP service has taken many forms over the years. Some of our most successful and wide-reaching volunteer activities and programs include: grassroots advocacy and voter education, Tax-Aide, and the Driver Safety Program. In Massachusetts, we also cosponsor the Money Management Program with Mass Home Care and the Executive Office of Elder Affairs. And, we recruit AARP members to help elementary school children reach their full potential by serving as mentors and reading coaches in Boston Public Schools, through Generations Incorporated, as part of Experience Corps.
Our newer initiatives include Drive to End Hunger, an effort to end the growing problem of elder hunger, and Create The Good – a network that helps our members find self-directed volunteer opportunities.
Right now, thousands of AARP volunteers are hard at work, helping others in a variety of ways, across the Bay State – and the nation.
Clearly, today’s volunteers – like those in the past – want to make a difference. And, they want to put their skills to good purpose, matching their service with not only their abilities but their passions and lifestyles.
As we remember the tragic events of ten years ago, many of us are moved to serve anew. One good way is by participating in the National Day of Service and Remembrance. Here at AARP Massachusetts, we will be helping feed the hungry in Worcester County by volunteering with the Community Harvest Project. Dr. Andrus would expect nothing less.
To learn more about volunteer opportunities in Massachusetts, visit Create The Good.
Deborah Banda is the state director of AARP Massachusetts, which serves more than 800,000 members age 50 and over in the Bay State. This editorial appears in the September 2011 edition of the Fifty Plus Advocate, the statewide mature market newspaper.
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