Jane Woodward of Houston has been selected as the Texas Andrus Award for Community Service winner for 2010. Her work embodies the motto of Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, “to serve, not to be served.”
Woodward describes her approach to serving as, “I just say yes.” And she says it quite often.
In 1986, she said “yes” to serving her community when she began teaching seniors about Medicare. Inspiration struck while Woodward was attending a class targeted at caregivers – she wanted to share the knowledge she’d learned from assisting her own ailing mother.
“I went to the class and thought, ‘Hey, I know this stuff, I can help others.’ I sought out the instructor and wouldn’t give up until she let me help.’”
But this wasn’t the first time she took such a leap.
Woodward said “yes” to marrying Don Woodward, a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps, after knowing him for only a month. The couple met while she was working in a VA hospital in New Orleans. He was an amnesia patient recovering from a brutal mugging. After the two married, they traveled the world – moving to Connecticut, Venezuela and Australia – before finally settling in Houston with their three children.
Fortunately for us, Woodward now also finds the time to say “yes” to AARP. She signed up as a volunteer for AARP Texas in 2002. Since then, she’s found plenty of ways to enrich the lives of members. She’s served as the editor of her chapter’s newsletter, organized a new AARP chapter at the Treemont retirement community, and helped create an AARP resource center at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital in Houston.
Woodward gives back to her community in other ways, too. From helping to provide free immunizations to clipping coupons for our troops, from gathering school supplies for underprivileged children to distributing clothing and food to those in need in the Houston area, Woodward finds plenty of ways to stay busy.
When asked why she so actively serves others, she says, “I am not the type to sit around and watch the tube or play bridge all day. This keeps me young.”
AARP Texas congratulates Jane Woodward, 88 years young and the 2010 recipient of Texas’ Andrus Award.