AARP Arizona Women: Empowering communities and influencing others

Posted on 04/12/24 by Dawn Alexander

AARP Arizona empowers women to strive for greatness and create impactful change in their community.

Every day, dedicated women volunteers uphold the organization's mission of service and empowerment. As an organization, AARP Arizona strives to ensure that all voices are heard, contributions are recognized, and diverse views valued.

Women's Influence and Empowerment

AARP is guided by its founder Dr. Ethel Andrus' example, prioritizing teamwork and cohesion so everyone can age with dignity and purpose. AARP Arizona women volunteers are dedicated to supporting individuals as they navigate the aging process.

Debbie Gross, a member of the AARP Arizona Executive Council, shared her thoughts on the significance of altruistic service. To her, serving others encompasses both selfless actions and can deeply touch one's heart.

“I have a voice here that's important. I can help elevate this (volunteerism). This is why I'm here and I'm just so grateful,” she said.

Gross is honored to be a part of making sure people's voices are heard and that they understand one another. She continues to stress inclusivity and support others on their journeys.

Another volunteer at AARP Arizona expressed her joy in being part of an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals of all ages.

After being invited to join the AARP Arizona executive council, Tami Bohannon was excited for the opportunity to be actively involved in something she considers essential.

“I knew AARP Arizona was the place I wanted to volunteer, because in my day job, I serve Arizona and I want to make Arizona a safe place to age. I can't think of a better partner than AARP.”

For these female volunteers, volunteering involves providing assistance to others, actively participating in community initiatives and honoring the legacy of Dr. Andrus.

Service and Community Engagement 

Volunteering experiences vary for each individual, and sometimes the impact of what you are doing may not be fully realized until you are in the moment. For Leslie Watson, her most memorable experience, a Movies for Grown-Ups event, evoked a strong sense of belonging.

Five years ago while volunteering, she walked out as the movie came to an end to thank everyone who attended. She soon realized that none of the attendees were leaving.

“I rushed back into the theater and found a hundred strangers singing “Hey Jude” while the credits played. It made me realize what a sense of community we foster in all of our activities.”

AARP Arizona's initiatives not only unite individuals across various programs but also transcend into actively engaging in legislative matters and beyond.

Elieen Kendig, a long-standing AARP Arizona state volunteer, has also served on the legislative committee.

Her unwavering commitment to service and her legislative contributions make her a valuable asset to the AARP Arizona community.

Through her active engagement with gender-related issues, Kendig aims to highlight the significance of representation and empowerment for women in society.

Why Women Should Join the Initiative

AARP women volunteers believe in the power of active participation to drive meaningful change and shape policies and decisions that directly impact their lives and communities.

For women considering becoming AARP volunteers, Tami Bohannon offers her own advice in taking the next step.

“If you do this, it will change your life. You're going to be making a difference in other people's lives, but it really is going to change you,” shared Bohannon.

Visit the website, and see how you can get involved as an AARP Arizona volunteer.

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