AARP receives a great deal of motivation from our Founder Ethel Percy Andrus, a retired California principal who was concerned about her fellow retirees. Having heard one of her colleagues was in dire straights, Ethel set off to find her. The lady was found living in an abandoned chicken coop. There was no retirement, no insurance.
Ethel organized teachers so that through combined buying power, they would be able to obtain insurance. She and her fledgling group were turned away 42 times but eventually succeeded. Finally, an agency agreed to cover the retired teachers, and the National Retired Teacher's Association was born. Today, the Colorado School Public Employee Retirement Association has 8000+ members and is active in throughout the community and is a strong partner with AARP.
The Colorado state office was one of the first state offices, starting in 1993. Since then, a small staff has attempted to adequately support a growing membership which has reached approximately 700,000. Today, a staff of seven with a total of 61 years experiences manage myriad programming. We offer Create the Good, AARP's volunteer engagement program which attempts to bring together Coloradans with volunteer experiences, regardless of whether someone has five minutes, five hours, or five days.
Our community outreach manager works throughout the state to help members who wish to volunteer find a meaningful outlet for their talents and ensure members have the most up-to-date information on AARP's various projects. We also have aggressive exhibit campaign with a presence from at events from 9 News Health Fair to Juneteenth. Our advocacy efforts have been recognized by legislators and community activists as being highly effective as a consumer watch-dog and reliable resource. Our Multicultural Outreach efforts focus on ensuring Colorado's diverse population is aware of AARP resources and that elders throughout the community know about the resources around family and aging in place.
Our volunteer leadership is led by the Executive Council, to whom I constantly refer as our unpaid staff. Our state president has been an AARP volunteer since 1995, and brings a balanced approach and a great deal of strength and knowledge of the Association. Three Executive Council members, currently sit on AARP's Legislative Council and bring a wealth of real-life experience, both from the agency side as well as legislative expertise. Two of the members are very involved in Community Outreach and senior services. Our newest Executive Council member is a retired utilities' specialist who we now rank as one of our top-notch issue-experts.
Next time I write, I'll share more about our fabulous Foundation programs and anchor programming such as Driver's Safety and Tax-Aide, all of which help tens of thousands of Coloradans a year. I encourage you to visit our webpage at www.aarp.org/co for more information. Also, feel free to send me an email at email@example.com with my name in the subject line.
AARP Colorado State Director