The week of April 16th is National Volunteer Week and at AARP Maine, we are grateful and honored to work with hundreds of volunteers every year. The extraordinary efforts of these dedicated individuals propel AARP’s mission “to serve, not to be served.” That phrase was coined by our founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, more than 50 years ago and it is certainly still true today.
Our volunteers serve many roles and actively work to make the world a better place. They prepare taxes through the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program, testify at the state house on issues of importance to our members, meet with members of Congress and the state legislature, conduct AARP Driver Safety Program classes, train other volunteers and work with Maine community leaders on many of our initiatives. Our volunteers tell us that being a part of AARP in this manner is an enriching and rewarding experience. They know firsthand that it is the incredible hard work and dedication of everyone working together that makes it possible for AARP to accomplish all that it does on behalf of the 228,000 members we serve in Maine.
This year, we are very excited to launch You’ve Earned a Say and many of AARP Maine’s volunteers are already engaged in this new initiative. You’ve Earned a Say offers every adult Mainer a chance to voice their opinion on the future of Social Security and Medicare. We hope that you, too, will take the time to go to www.earnedasay.org and make your voice heard on these critical issues that are of paramount importance to so many in our state. Every voice counts and we want to hear yours!
There are so many ways to create positive change in each other’s lives through volunteering and, as you may know, studies show that volunteering can have a positive effect on our own mental and physical health! Perhaps you are already a volunteer with AARP and if you are, we thank you whole heartedly for your hard work and commitment to the issues we address both in Maine and on the national level. In whatever way you choose to give back, you are making a difference and we applaud your commitment to others.
Over 50 years ago, AARP was founded by one woman, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, who was determined to make a difference in the lives of others. In one of AARP’s earliest publications, she wrote ‘Our community is the place where we as older individuals can be the most effective.’ This is part of Dr. Andrus’ extraordinary legacy and she was right. One person really can make a difference.
We look forward to our continued work together.