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Create The Good Going Strong

“To serve, not to be served.” The words of AARP’s founder Dr. Ethyl Percy Andrus have been driving our commitment to serving others for more than half a century. And that spirit of service is alive and well among AARP South Dakota volunteers in 2010. We’ve long known our volunteers give freely of their time and talents, but this year we challenged volunteers to approach giving back in a new way, and inspire others to do the same. We call it “Create The Good”, and the effort is going strong all across South Dakota.

Watertown Retired Teachers’ members held a kick-off event in February aimed at getting residents to adopt healthy behaviors. Local dieticians provided advice on healthy eating and nutrition, a local physical therapist demonstrated exercises to build strength and increase flexibility, and a librarian showed attendees how to navigate the world-wide web for sources of reliable health information. The efforts don’t stop there. volunteers will gather at the Bramble Park Zoo in Watertown on June 10th to bring a little beauty to the park by planting more than 2-thousand wild flowers. Grab your trowel and your garden gloves and join the fun June 10th.

Also in February, the Huron Chapter presented the Huron Arts Council with a check for $4,000 to make lighting improvements at the Fine Arts Center. Throughout the rest of 2010, Chapter members will be helping with the census, and this fall will be helping with Medicare Part D enrollment.

Additionally, Huron will host the AARP/Walgreens Wellness Bus during the State Fair Labor Day weekend. The stop in Huron is part of a national mobile health screening tour, aiming to provide more than 2.5 million free screenings. The free screenings—which include total cholesterol levels, blood pressure, bone density, glucose levels, waist circumference and body mass index—will help provide adults with a critical foundation for early disease detection and prevention. Watch for details on later this summer.

Pierre volunteers have been assisting with the launch of a regional food bank. Volunteers contributed staplers, post it notes, pens, and other necessary office supplies to help the food bank with their operational needs, and will soon begin packing boxes to be distributed to area seniors in need. Volunteers have taken on an additional project, by organizing and offering CPR classes to teach older residents how to save lives.

Finally, we encourage you to join us for our fall day of service culminating September 11th. For this event we’re encouraging volunteers to collect school supplies to help out students in need in your community. Watch for details at in the near future, including tool kits helping you organize a school supply drive where you live.

It’s not too late to get involved! You can participate in any of these projects by emailing and we’ll get you in touch with the project leaders in your community. Or register with the Create The Good network at and search for volunteer opportunities in your zip code. Together we can make a difference.

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