Judy Taggart is one of AARP’s Executive council members – a top volunteer position with the association in Delaware – and she knows the importance of giving something back. This former director of the Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay has years of experience motivating others to help get things done.
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So when she learned that her local VA Hospital in Elsmere was marking its 10th anniversary, she decided to rally the troops to get involved in some way. She viewed AARP’s Create the Good web site www.createthegood.org to get ideas and decided on hosting a Create the Good house party with her husband, Bob.
On Sept. 11, the Taggarts had 24 of their friends over for brunch. Invitees received a wish list from the Hospital and were asked to bring something from the list for the hospital. As a result, the Taggarts collected everything from personal items to bus tokens or theater tickets for the good of those at the hospital. Some even agreed to volunteer at the hospital after hearing how important volunteers are to the day to day operation of the hospital.
Some even sponsored daily newspaper delivery for hospital admitees. The VA has a Social Work Homeless Program and some brought WaWa gift cards for homeless veterans, or telephone calling cards.
Hospice volunteers often comfort veterans’ families, which is a very noble thing for the right type of person. The hospital even needed a front desk greeter and some people expressed interest.
AARP’s commitment to volunteer service first grew from the vision of founder Ethel Percy Andrus. From its very beginning, AARP has fostered volunteer efforts at the national, state and local level that have improved the lives of current and future generations. True to the legacy of volunteerism, more than 9 million people nationwide are giving back through AARP today.
By bringing people together around a specific cause, it became very easy to encourage them to give back,” said Taggart. “Everyone had a great time at the brunch and felt good about helping others when they left.”