AARP Volunteers Turned Friends

Posted on 04/23/21 by Valerie Disalvio

Belinda Donna Rhonda crop.jpg

We never expected, in May of 2014 at an AARP facilitators training session, that we would form a friendship that would continue all the way to 2021.

We volunteers, Donna Gering, Belinda Larkin, and Rhonda Mangieri, enlisted to serve as Certified Guides for the brand-new AARP “Life Reimagined Checkup.”

Given our backgrounds and interests, we were excited to go through the training, and over the next couple of years, we were able to guide hundreds of participants along the roadmap toward a better understanding of where they are in life and what their next move may be.

AARP volunteer events and the Annual Volunteer Summit in Columbus gave us the opportunity to meet and catch up with one another.  But our bond didn’t stop there; even outside of AARP events, we made sure to communicate via texts, emails, lunches, and phone calls. 

Over the years, Donna has invited us to come together at Matthew 25’s Ministries’ Christmas play, Rhonda has invited us to the Donald and Marian Spencer Awards event. We have shared Bible studies together. We consoled Rhonda when she lost her belove cat.  We have even shared plants from our gardens!  And Belinda and Donna regularly make sure we got together for lunch or dinner. We are looking forward to the time we are no longer “Covid-19 sequestered.”

Our AARP volunteer opportunity brought us together and our amazing friendship has kept us together!

- AARP Volunteers: Donna Gering, Belinda Larkin, and Rhonda Mangieri
Cincinnati, Ohio

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